The few weeks between now, Thanksgiving and winter break can make or break a student's semester grades. And for college freshmen, this period may be the first time students experience final exams or projects, when it's already easy to get distracted with the holidays right around the corner and the anticipation to have a break from your hard work studying!
1. Know where you stand
Last year, one of my friends went into finals week having gotten an A on every test that year. Feeling good about her grade, she didn't study for the final and bombed it, ending up with a B in the class. Which for her was devastating...
Final exams often make up a sizable portion of your grade, sometimes equal to two or three other tests taken throughout the semester. Make sure you understand how your score on a final exam or project will affect your grade, and what you need to earn in order to achieve the grade you want.
2. Communicate with your professors
This is good advice for nearly every area of academics. Whenever you have an issue with a class, my greatest advice is to communicate with your teachers. Make sure you're open with them about where you stand, as well as any difficulties you're having.
In my experience, they're almost always happy to hear from you and might even cut you some slack when grading your final assignments of the year.
3. Avoid distractions
This may be the most difficult as the excitement of activities on a college campus are happening year round. In the last few weeks before going home for winter break, there are plenty of things you'd rather be doing than schoolwork. Trust me I've been there...
During finals week when I was in college not so long ago...:), at any given time my friends were watching Christmas movies, shopping, or going out to eat, while I tried to focus on those last few essays and tests. I think I had sever test anxiety and would always feel stressed come the end of the semester.
You don't have to completely forego a social life during finals week, but it's important to manage your time well, and recognize when you can spare a few hours and when you can't. Trust me, you'll have plenty of down time during the three or four weeks you have off for winter break.
Advice For Parents
There isn't much of a role for parents to play in their student's final exams, but you may want to take the time to show you are thinking of him or her.
1. Check in
The period leading up to finals is a good time to check in with your child to see how he or she is doing, and to offer advice or support if needed.
2. Send a care package
A finals survival kit will be a welcome surprise for your child who should be studying hard. Ideas for things to include are snacks...your child's favorites and some healthy options...study supplies such as highlighters,
sticky notes notes, USB flash drives, and gift cards to Starbucks or other local coffee places. I loved getting "love packages" from my parents throughout college and they also gave me that extra needed motivation to finish strong and hurry home for the holiday's!
You are going to rock the end of semester!!!
Lots of Love,
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