What is the best way to prepare for the final exams in one week? Final exam success tips

So you’ve only got one week before your exams and you’re terrified. You need a few quick final exam tips to organize your learning at the last minute. With overwhelming emotions and the knowledge that you only have a limited amount of time, it can be problematic knowing where to start. These final exam study tips will help you take a step back and look at the upcoming tasks with a more focused eye. 

Stop the clock: Focus on one thing when preparing for final exams

Let’s face it: many of those who study often don’t want to lose contact with their friends, and continue visiting them at parties or having long Zoom calls. But this can have some really negative effects on your studying. 

Stop active socialization for a week. If you can, try not to go to a cafe or party every day. Although it’s a good idea to occasionally see your family and friends, try to refocus your attention on preparation for your finals. 

Limit your social media use. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are great ways to relax, but they can become time sinks. You may think that you have only spent a minute or two scrolling through your newsfeed, but it can quickly become an hour or more. Either delete your social media account or allocate a strict amount of time for its use. 

Remove all distractions. Try to negotiate with your family or professors if you have any extracurricular activities or responsibilities. Explain that you need one week to prepare for your last classes and you can’t afford to let your concentration waver. However, consider adding exercises or cleaning to get some blood pumping through your body. It can stimulate your learning, but don’t spend too much time and effort on it. 

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Create an effective learning space

After you have freed yourself from time-consuming activities, move to the next item on your list: having a good place to use as your small sanctuary until the final  learning day. 

Collect all your materials. This is the time for you to find all the files you have been given and put them in the appropriate places. Many professors will tell you what they will include in the exam or what presentations have the most essential data. They may also share important tips and guidelines for you to follow. Prepare the pdf  files of the books, articles, or other texts that you may need. If there’s something you have to highlight or use actively, print it out. 

Find a quiet spot. You’ve probably had a few situations where you couldn’t concentrate because of the people laughing, speaking, and interrupting you. The key to success is to ensure that you have a place to study. It can be the library, your room, or a park if the weather allows it. 

Surround yourself with information. This is the best suggestion for times when you have to learn a lot at the same time. Have the necessary visual information on hand, put the tables as your phone background, and write down everything you need to learn on sticky notes and put them everywhere in your room. This is a way of learning through repetition. 

Organize your schedule 

Among the strategies most important for your learning, the best is having a good plan for organizing your working hours. 

Divide your time among your exams. For each exam you have, take a part of your day to prepare. If one course is easier than the others, adjust the time dedicated to each of them. Don’t spend one day on one course; it’s better to shift to different classes if possible and have your brain work on diverse assignments. 

Collect your material and divide it into days. Look through your questions and divide them into the number of days you have. Learn a relatively equal number of questions per class each day. This strategy will give you the opportunity to learn systematically without a significant overload and know how much you have left until the end of your study session. 

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Get enough sleep to recharge properly

Although many students have a tendency to procrastinate and then do everything at the last minute by sacrificing their sleep, preparing for final exams shouldn’t take time away from the most important health-related activities. In fact, if you sleep enough for your body to have some time for relaxation, you will have a much better chance of learning and remembering the information. It might be tempting to think that if you don’t sleep for a few days or spend only a few hours a night on rest, you can learn more material. Many people have fallen into this trap. After some time, you will notice yourself losing your grasp on the easiest concepts. If that’s not enough of a problem for you, imagine falling asleep during the exam or the last evening before it. 

If this sounds like too much, make sure to ask people for help and reach out to your professors, peers, or anyone else. Sometimes, additional assistance may be all that you need to get going. If you have any problems with your preparation, you can look for academic writing websites that will help you with your exams. 

Learn smart and get things done

Learning more doesn’t necessarily mean learning better. Some things can simplify the learning process for you, so check them out. 

Use tables and visuals. I’ve noticed that a lot of textual information can be effectively put into tables. Our brain works better with visuals, so charts and other visuals that simplify the information can aid in recollection and grasping the main ideas. 

Use associative learning. Although it can be challenging, sometimes putting the main rules as abbreviations or funny words or associating them with some pictures or memes can be very helpful. We remember funny or bizarre facts better than the ones that don’t have any emotional connotation for us. 

Understand, don’t just memorize. The most important concepts, especially if you are learning math or something like it, have to be understood in case the questions on the exam change or the professor asks you about your understanding of the topic. 

Don’t overfocus on details. The general picture has the greatest importance. And it’s vital to remember that you’ve got a week, so it will be impossible to learn everything. Just stick with the major theories and ideas. That’s basically an 80/20 rule. 


Hopefully, these final exam success tips have been useful to you. Surely, not everything will be good for your particular case, but these ideas have assisted many students preparing for their exams. One week is a lot of time if you start learning now, so good luck! You’ll make it! 

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Rebecca Jenkins
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Rebecca has been a freelance writer since 2010. She travels often and is constantly learning something new. Also, Rebecca is a true enthusiast of social sciences, especially of psychology. She gladly shares her experience of enjoying life and finding inspiration across the US and abroad.