The Finals Countdown. Really.

The thought of studying for finals in the midst of midterms is probably the last thing on your mind. But guess what? You realistically only have 5 weeks left in the semester.

How is this possible?

Simple. We have 3 weeks until Thanksgiving and after we come back from break with our stomachs full and our cheeks red, we have a whopping eight days of classes.

Let’s be real. During these last 8 days of classes, most of us are physically back at BU, but mentally back at home, waiting for mom to make the next home-cooked meal.

So, what can you do within the next 5 weeks that will prepare you for a stress-free finals week?

(1) Go to Office Hours – Make sure your professor knows you, if you haven’t already introduced yourself. Head to their office hours with questions or comments related to the course. Keep in mind; you might come away with more questions after seeing a professor, which is a good thing. The more you think about the concepts and break them down, the better you understand them.

(2) Mark Your Calendars – You’ll be surprised how many people think that the final for your class is on the same day and location that your respective class usually meets. This is not the case. Make sure you take a look at the finals calendar and your syllabus, which will let you know when and where your finals are. If you have more than three finals in one day (very rare) you can talk to your professors to change the dates. If you aren’t familiar with the Registrar’s website, bookmark it. Here’s a link to the University’s final exam schedule: http://www.bu.edu/reg/dates/final-exam-schedule/final-exam-schedule-fall-2013/. The schedule is determined by when classes are held.

(3) Plan Ahead & Use Thanksgiving – Usually, when we get back home we’re excited to see friends we haven’t seen in months, eat real food, and watch football. Homework is the last thing on your mind. Try something new this year – study during Thanksgiving break. Not only will this give you a head start on review, but it’ll keep you from totally leaving the academic setting, making the transition of coming back to school much smoother. Prior to Thanksgiving (way ahead of it…like now), make sure you break down each syllabus and figure out what you need to know for the exam. What’s going to be covered? What’s the format of the exam? Then create goals for review, such as “By the end of Thanksgiving, I’ll have chapters 4-7 reviewed with notes.”

These are just some ways to make use of the next 5 weeks. Consider ways in which you can prepare by paying attention to factors such as time management, test prep, and syllabus management. The ERC has put some of these workshops on  our website and on our YouTube channel. Make sure you make your own plan of action for the finals showdown.

Andy Vargas is a Student Ambassador for the Center for Career Development and Educational Resource Center.

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