Senior tips for finals studying


Working on a math problem during study hall, senior April Pak prepares for the AP Calculus Exam. AP exams take place from May 7 through May 18, while finals go from May 22 to May 25. “I study a little bit everyday leading up to the finals or the AP exam,” Pak said. “A good [way to study] is to buy an AP review book and maybe go through a set number of pages or a chapter every night. It’s really helpful.”

As finals approach and students and teachers prepare for the worst, the Pathfinder has got you covered on how to properly prepare for finals with tips and tricks from experienced seniors.

Taking advantage of public libraries and the Maryville University Library for study time, senior Cheryl Ma begins studying two weeks before finals for up to six hours a day.

“The best way [to study] is to make a schedule and keep track of what finals are when and how many hours to study for each and write it down in a calendar,” Ma said. “Getting a lot of sleep is so helpful.”

Fellow senior and future attendee of Brigham Young University, Nathan Stucki opts for fewer hours but more practice.

“Do a lot of practice problems and don’t try to do all your studying in one night–especially the day before,” Stucki said. “Just do a few practice problems a day and only for about an hour [starting] one or two weeks before.

Turning to a more conventional study strategy, senior and future attendee of University of California in Berkeley Alec Zhou uses cramming to study for his finals but realizes this strategy may not be best for everyone.

“I cram the night before,” Zhou said. “[But] It really depends on you, it’s different for everyone, everyone has different learning styles and should find what works best for them.”

Although Zhou’s method may work for some, senior April Pak argues against conventional cramming in order to better retain important information.

“The best way is to start ahead of time, it doesn’t have to be that much. I study for 30 minutes a few weeks ahead of time because if you cram in all in one night or like a week before you’re not going to retain it, but 30 minutes is doable,” Pak said. “I either study at home in my room or sometimes it’s good to have study sessions with other people because they remind you of things you might not have thought about before. My friends and I meet at Bread Co. or Starbucks to study.”

For those who do not have weeks to spare, senior Michael Akinwumi takes two study days and remembers to de-stress before finals in order to do his best.

“Study [in] whatever environment you focus best. Give yourself two days worth of study time before a test. Get the classes you need for college and find [something] that gets rid of your stress, whether it’s sports or music,” Akinwumi said.

In order to walk into finals well-prepared, senior Jessica Schlueter, who will attend Indiana University, focused on organization in order to better understand the material. 

“I’d say to start your studying prep early. Start getting yourself organized before you might even think you need to,” Schlueter said. “Make flashcards [and] get together important notes from the year. That way when the time for studying rolls around, you don’t have to waste any time getting ready to study. Also, keep track of anything that may be important throughout the year so you have all the study materials you need in one place.”