The Perfect Study Plan for Finals Week

Happy finals time, friends! It’s time to start prepping for getting those A’s. Starting early is the easiest way to ensure success. You may be thinking that “Oh, finals are a few weeks away. What’s there to worry about?” Finals are going to sneak up on you way faster than you think. I have my first final a week from today (well today as in the day this post goes live), and it’s time for me to start working on a study schedule and finals plan. Am I ready to start prepping for finals? Nope. But, it has to be done!

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Today I’m going to be showing you my study schedule for finals. I started doing this last semester, and it really helped me organize my time and break down exactly what I have to do each day. This keeps me from accomplishing nothing because I’m so overwhelmed and just watch Netflix and surf Pinterest instead of studying for an exam that’s worth 20% of my grade… In past semesters, I’ve had a few easier classes that didn’t have finals, but this semester is completely different. I have five finals – one in each of my classes – and each class is as difficult as the next. It really gives me no break and also means I can’t slack on prepping for finals like I’ve done in previous semesters! Okay okay enough about me and my finals struggles. Here are the steps I take to ensure good grades and sanity during finals week!

1. Write out EVERYTHING

Get out your notebook, Excel document, blank piece of paper (this year I’m using Excel) and follow along to create your own study planner! I create headings for each of my courses. Under each course, I list out everything I need to know for that course’s final. When I say everything, I mean everything. Okay no not everything as in the entirety of the universe, but everything as in all chapters I need to know, test study guides I need to review, and other important items.

This lets me see all of the topics I need to cover and review before finals.

2. Divide into Tasks

I usually start studying for a final about five days before the day of the test. This gives me plenty of time to procrastinate and review the material enough so that I actually understand it instead of frantically trying to memorize important pieces here and there.

This is where things get really detailed. For example:

210 Test 1 Material
– handwrite chapter notes
– type up notes
– review test 1 study guide

Now I know exactly what I need to do for that class on that day. And if it all doesn’t get done, then I can do whatever I didn’t finish the following day.

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3. Write It Down

This is where it gets fun. Sometimes I opt for the pretty, handwritten version, but this time around I went with Excel. It’s easier to make changes, and since I have my laptop with me a majority of the time, my study schedule is with me as well.

I’ve laid out my next two weeks on this homemade calendar so I can see just how much time I have to waste before I actually have to start studying for finals. Under each day I have my assignments that are due or the times of my finals in red. I have each class highlighted in a specific color and the corresponding details under.

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This is how I’m prepping myself this year for finals week. And in all honesty, I’ll probably create a written version of this planner when I’m bored in one of my classes.

How do you plan your study sessions for finals week? Do you cram the night before or give yourself a few days to prepare?

~abigail gray

  • This is super helpful! I’ve been giving myself a lot of time to prepare…in grad school, you kind of have to! I’ve also made sure to keep the TV off & to study at my desk versus the couch. One episode of How I Met Your Mother turns into 10 when I’m “studying.”

    • I relate to this so much except instead of one episode of a TV show, it’s a YouTube video which leads me to watching another YouTube video and then I end up watching someone’s entire vlogmas series from two years ago and then by the time I realize how far into the depths of YouTube I’ve gone, I’ve wasted a good three hours, haha

  • abigail this is genius, so well written and planned out! I wish I had the same dedication as you!
    xo, hannah
    hannahwithacamera.com

  • Love the techniques in this post, especially the idea of dividing tasks up by day! I feel like I am so much more productive when I have set goals for each day of finals week. At this point in college, most of my classes have final research papers and analytical essays instead of the typical final exam. Even though I only have two physical exams this semester, I still need to dedicate time during/before finals week for research and writing! Best of luck on finals this semester!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss

    • Thank you! Best of luck to you too! Can’t believe you only have one semester left!

  • I REALLY need to do this this week! Writing things out helps me so much, I’m the kind of person who always needs to see everything laid out–using a spreadsheet is a really good idea, I definitely need to try that 🙂

    paige // eyeliner wings & pretty things

    • Thank you!! If you try it, let me know how it works for you 🙂

  • Jean

    I do the same type of system on paper (there’s just something so satisfying about crossing items off of a paper list). I tend to cram one subject a day though, so that I can really delve into a subject fully without letting my other classes butt in.
    – Jean | lipstickandink.com

    • That’s awesome! I would totally cram one subject in a day, but I get so bored studying the same thing for hours on end. Breaking it up gives me a bit of a mental break and also lets me come back to it the next day to see how much I remember. Hope your finals went well, and here’s to 2017!