Published: April 13, 2022

Finals are coming, and this is a great time to get organized and prepared for the rest of the semester. While the thought of finals may feel overwhelming, you can set yourself up for success with the right strategies. Here are some tips to help you finish the semester strong.

Get organized

Look at your syllabi and note important dates for deadlines or exams the rest of the semester. This will help you become familiar with your workload leading up to finals. Use a calendar or planner to map out these dates and block off study periods for each course.

Prioritize your projects, papers, labs and exams based on deadlines. Make projects and studying more manageable by breaking them down into smaller steps. Write down each individual task in your planner on the dates you will do them.

Plan a strategy

As you get organized, consider what successful studying looks like for you:

  • Do you concentrate best when there’s complete silence or some background noise?

  • Are you more mentally sharp at a certain point in the day (early mornings or evenings)?

  • Are you more of a visual learner or do you learn best by reading/writing?

  • Is it helpful to study with a friend or two, or do you study best on your own?

Try out different study methods like making flashcards or your own one-page study guide from your course notes and materials. Knowing how you study best and finding the right study spot can help you feel prepared for finals.

Seek support

It’s not too late to ask for help if you need it! Use the academic resources that are available to you:

Avoid cutting corners

Even as you prepare your study routine well before finals, remember to avoid cutting corners with your work. Failing to properly cite a source or asking a friend to help out with your work may not seem like a big deal at the moment, but these actions and any form of academic misconduct are a violation of the Honor Code and can have consequences.

Learn more about how to avoid common Honor Code violations.

Take breaks

It can be tempting to pull an all-nighter to get things done, but this can be more harmful than helpful since sleep is so vital for memory. Take short breaks during study sessions (5-minute break for every 25 minutes of studying) to give your brain a rest. You can take a quick walk, stretch or watch a funny video. Staying hydrated and eating regular meals and snacks are also important for maintaining energy and focus.

There are many student events happening this month to help Buffs take study breaks, fuel up with free food and de-stress before finals. Find upcoming event details, resources and more at colorado.edu/finals