Jordan Hirigoyen, High School Survival Specialist

Well, it’s officially the time of the year for us to confront the sinister beast itself… finals week. With a formidable reputation built upon the despair of students; you stand absolutely no chance if you attempt to “just wing it.” Lucky for you, I’m here to equip you with the skills necessary to ensure you come out victorious.

It’s far too late for you to begin learning the test material for the first time. Rather, I will divulge the general and proper methods of prep for every exam. Let’s talk about that.  

First and foremost, you will have to (and I can’t stress this enough) start paying attention to final exam reviews. Exam reviews made specifically by your teacher are quality mock-exams that can not only refresh your memory, but also encourage you to ask about that topic you didn’t get an adequate grasp on all semester. 

Exam reviews and practice tests are by far the best and most efficient uses of your time in preparation for exams. You can also take time to do practice tests/reviews online by yourself and present your teacher with any questions later. No matter the approach or extent, completing some review and practice tests are essential to your success. 

Next in our hierarchy of necessities is the means to sleep. It is of little importance how you faired in class overall and on your unit tests. Anyone who gets minimal sleep the night before an exam is jeopardizing his test scores. Considering “how your body works,” a lack of rest is detrimental and serves as nothing more than an obstacle to passing your exam. 

Next, but still of utmost importance is communication with your teacher. All the studying you’ve completed in the first step is useless if you’re still left with questions. Politely asking your teacher (or a peer) for assistance maximizes your chances of understanding what just happened. 

Although asking questions is the prime example; it is not the only form of communication I’m referencing. Telling your teacher to slow down, speed up, further explain something, etc. is just as imperative to furthering your grasp on subject matter. 

Last is the other forms of preparation that – although still beneficial – are optional and not essential for your success. This includes activities like forming study groups with friends outside of class (bringing laptops to starbucks to look extra productive), eating a good dinner and breakfast prior, meditation, and self-motivation. 

Just because the methods listed above are considered optional and not essentials they are in NO WAY frowned upon or any less productive if taken into great consideration. A grumpy mood and a growling stomach during your exam could also harm your score just as much as not sleeping or studying. 

Forming study groups with friends is also a great form of study, when actually… studying. Laughing for 3 hours about Ben buying 38 watermelons before finally solving the problem is helping no one, especially the kid that actually needs the study time but prefers to be with friends. 

Now all you have to do is go pass the freaking thing! It’s also key to remember that your test scores in no way define you as a person and shouldn’t drag you down. If you don’t achieve the score desired (which is IMPOSSIBLE if you follow the guide given above) then you shrug it off, and prepare for the next exam. Right?