How to Study for Final Exams


Every year thousands of students across the country are asked to display their knowledge and grasp of a subject by completing a final exam. This time honored collegiate tradition can be a source of stress and doubt, unless you have a system in place on how to study.


Alexander Djerassi wants students to remember that preparing for a final exam is just like preparing for any other test. Students can begin by reviewing the material that their teacher presented in class. This can be done by simply reading over your notes and the textbook as much as time allows. But a better way to prepare for a conceivably daunting test is to create a study guide. Start out by making an outline of the material that was reviewed in the course. List the major topics and then any subsequent studies underneath. After you have a decent outline, you can then turn that into a more robust study guide, using the outline as your source document. For students, it isn’t necessary to document every iota of information, but rather have a survey of the topic that then dives into the more important areas that were discussed by his or her professor. Students can choose to handwrite their study guide, but it’s much easier and more presentable to do it on a computer. Plus, that way he/she can pull it up on various devices for study and also keep a copy safe on any sort of portable media.


Another “trick” to utilize when studying is to create a study group with fellow students. Choose someone to be in charge and he/she can select the times to meet as well as serve as a moderator of sorts during the sessions. Students shouldn’t engage in marathon study group sessions trying to cram all the information into their brains that they need for the final exam, but rather meet periodically for shorter durations. This gives students the chance to absorb the material over time, which is especially important if the topic is difficult. Keep in mind folks like Alexander Djerassi, who believes students should study early in the semester for best results. Djerassi graduated magna cum laude from Princeton and received a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School. Along with working for the US State Department. In order to achieve that sort of success it was imperative to not only study, but to have a plan on how to do it correctly.


Another technique that students can use is to have their study group create mini quizzes and tests. The moderator of the group designates someone during a session to create a quiz or test for the next time the group meets. This serves several purposes, not the least of which is learning the subject and overcoming testing jitters. Each person in the group takes a turn creating a test or quiz and the moderator administers the test and at the end the group reviews the answers. As they say, practice makes perfect.


Studying for final exams can be stressful, but if students have a good plan and practice in place they can relax in the knowledge that they did their best.