Tag Archives: Finals

Some Advice with Paper Writing

Everyone in college inevitably has to write a few papers for some of their classes. It is all part of the college experience, especially when you end up writing a paper at 3 in the morning when it is due at 10 that morning. We have all had to pull a few all-nighters to get our work done. Part of the reason for that is always the time getting away from us. We think we have enough time, that the paper is not due for another week, or four days, then suddenly it is the night before it is due and none of us have even made the word document. It would probably work out better if we tried to write a small bit at a time rather than all at once.

There are some pros to writing a paper in a single night. You can spend all of the extra time working on the other homework that piles up. We all end up with an overwhelming amount of work eventually; sometimes the best course of action is to put off that big paper to get other work done, especially when it is due much sooner than the paper. But we could do better with a bit of time management and a willingness to spread the work around.

A more efficient way to go about writing a paper, especially as we near the end of the school semester, is to write small portions of it over the course of the week before it is due. Spend an hour and write an introduction. The next, you can take another hour to make your first body paragraph. Keep up that trend and before you know it, you will have a full and finished paper. Admittedly, this is just one way to go about writing it, and it has its cons too. It can be difficult to start and stop when writing a paper and maintain the same level of quality, but it is just some advice for the upcoming weeks of finals.

Radford survival guide: finals

Finals are slowly creeping up on us, although that reality hasn’t set in for most of us. Right now it’s the calm before the storm– so before the storm hits, you need to be prepared.

Your Guide to surviving Finals. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Your Guide to surviving Finals. Graphic by Katie Gibson

The first piece of advice I’d give you is to get plenty of sleep. It’s easy to go into panic mode and pull an all-nighter the night before a final, but this should never be a weekly practice. You don’t study as well, and you definitely won’t perform as well on an exam when you’re exhausted. Make sure you’re getting a decent amount of sleep so that you can be sharp and relaxed, even if you do have to cram.

Stress-eating becomes a lifestyle during finals week. Going through the drive-thru is a lot easier and takes much less time than making a healthy meal. However, it may be worth it to take a few minutes to grab a healthier snack. There’s power in healthy food that will help you work efficiently. Drink black coffee instead of sugary, expensive coffee drinks. Plain black coffee has zero calories, but will also keep your mood up and allow you to focus.

This should be common sense, but drinking during finals week is a horrible idea. No matter how stressed out you get, I promise there isn’t an “A” at the bottom of that bag of Franzia. Take time out of your studying to relax and watch a movie on Netflix. Find productive ways to take a study break, such as working your stress out at the gym or making a craft or two. Do anything to keep the urge to throw down that twelve-pack.

Arguably, the biggest piece of advice I received in University 100 is to study a little every day. Instead of cramming as much information as you can into your brain 30 minutes before your final, study a little every day the few weeks before finals. Ideally, studying a little every night starting at the beginning of the semester is the best thing to do to keep your brain from frying. However, few people have the willpower or discipline to make that work. There’s still time to save your brain before finals!

Finals week is notorious for being the most stressful time of year for college students. Although you may have to drink a swimming pool of coffee to survive, it’s absolutely possible to get by without going all 2007 Britney Spears. Keeping yourself organized and taking care of yourself will allow you to perform efficiently and allow you to pass your exams with flying colors.

Survival of the studious

Look at your calendar. We have less than three weeks left in the semester. Unless you’re a senior, eagerly counting down the days till graduation, this thought may come as a surprise to you. And if you’re anything like me, it’s a little alarming.

With a limited number of classes left, professors seem to be piling on the assignments, squeezing in last-minute tests and lectures before the final. Deadlines are looming, work’s piling up, and procrastination is becoming a riskier maneuver. But try not to panic, and follow these tips to ease the journey to hell week.

  • Make a calendar

If you don’t already keep track of assignments through a daily planner, START ONE TODAY. Even if you have a great memory and don’t have much trouble keeping track of school deadlines, write it all down. You don’t even have to buy a planning book; just print out a few weekly planner sheets with space below each weekday to list all your due dates, meetings, and other things that need to be done. It’s easy to forget something when you have so many extra things to remember, so prepare with an updated calendar.

  • Schedule out your time

    Are you spending your time wisely? Graphic from Pinterest
    Are you spending your time wisely? Graphic from Pinterest

With a calendar to aid you on when things are due, make sure you get those things done. Schedule time every day to get duties finished, and not just the day before something’s due. Create a daily list with a (reasonable) amount of work that you want to get done that day, and cross off assignments as you finish them. Separating out the work will help you from feeling overwhelmed by the overall amount.

  • Naps are your friend

It may be hard to find a solid chunk of time to sleep at night during this time, and barreling through schoolwork can be exhausting. To help with this, try taking brief (30 minutes or so) naps throughout the day. This can rejuvenate you between study sessions and give you more energy.

Just make sure you aren’t sleeping too much.

  • Meet with your teachers

Talk to your professors about any content you are still fuzzy on, and make use of their office hours. Discussing your questions and concerns with your teachers is beneficial, and shows them that you are dedicated to doing well in the class. Don’t wait until the day before the test to say you don’t understand something, because by then, it’s too late–and they’ll have no pity on you.

  • Take care of yourself

Most importantly, take care of yourself. If you are stressed out of your mind and aren’t nourishing your body, you’ll feel worse. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. So take time between work to relax and take deep breaths. Also be sure to eat healthy foods for more energy, and hydrate with lots of water to reduce headaches and improve thinking.

Studying: Do’s and don’ts from the experts

As much as we’d like to push stop or fast forward, finals are just around the corner — and we’re careening straight into them. While this may induce stress in some (or a haughty laugh from those who have been preparing all semester), there are always a couple of unfortunate students whose blood runs cold from fear of exams. Continue reading Studying: Do’s and don’ts from the experts

Finals week: Is there a simpler solution?

It’s the end of the year and finals are around the corner. For those classes that have projects, there is less stress since most projects are due during the last weeks of class, rather than finals week. Finals week, in general, is very stressful. It’s the last way we can control what grade we will get in the class. However, finding out what time your final will be held only serves to add to the stress of studying. Continue reading Finals week: Is there a simpler solution?

Music to study to for finals week

With finals looming over college students’ heads, procrastination seems to be commonplace. But when you finally sit down to study for that big exam or write that 10-page paper, you might be surprised to learn that the right playlist can make all the difference.

Instead of sitting down to the music you listen to regularly, try switching it up, and you may be surprised by the results. Most people cringe at the thought of listening to a genre they’re not fond of or familiar with for extended periods of time. But in a studying situation, the right melody can actually help you focus and take your mind away from end of the semester stresses.

Classical music is first on the list. It’s proven to activate both sides of the brain and actually improve learning capacity. Composers like Beethoven and Bach aren’t just artists our grandparents can get down to. The unfamiliar melodies will help take your brain away from other nagging thoughts and help you focus on whatever you’re studying. There aren’t any relevant lyrics to distract you, either. I suggest opening the Pandora page on your computer (you have to make an account but it’s free) and typing in classical for a wide variety of composers and pieces.

Pandora internet radio. Image courtesy of Creative Commons.

If the idea of listening to classical music absolutely appalls you (as it does many students), try listening to foreign music. When a soft French or Italian voice sings words you can’t understand, you’re forced to focus on only the background music, which can have a very soothing effect. Languages like French and Italian are also very pretty when spoken or sung aloud, and that can help improve your concentration. Pandora can set you up with a playlist in various languages. Try to avoid some foreign music such as Spanish or Latin music, which tends to be more upbeat and loud and isn’t the environment you want while studying.

If neither of those options appeal to you, jazz music is another good choice. Many people find listening to jazz while studying a good option, because the way the instruments work together is something admired by musicians across the spectrum. Norah Jones and Michael Bublé are included in the jazz category. Some modern artists you’ll find there might surprise you. You can search jazz in Pandora, or you can start searching an artist you already know you like on YouTube and follow the links on the side.

Jazz music. Image courtesy of Creative Commons.

Some of my favorite study music includes “Your Hand In Mine,” by Explosions In The Sky, “Dry Ice” by Emmure, or anything instrumental. A lot of times you can look up instrumental versions of your favorite songs and listen to those. The best studying music doesn’t have any lyrics or any loud bass (for example, dubstep would not be a good genre to listen to while trying to write a paper) and is different for everyone. Find what kind of music suits your studying habits and stick with that. It’s sure to make finals week go much smoother.

Explosions In The Sky. Image courtesy of Creative Commons.

Finals Tips, Preparing for the Final Days



The Fall semester here at Radford is winding down. There are only two weeks left before finals week begins. So for those of you who are freshman and don’t know, during finals week you have no classes, you have specific times in the day when you have to go and take your exams which will be given to you by your professors. This means that during finals week, you’ll have a lot of spare time on your hands. So what are you planning to do with that spare time? Some students might lock themselves in their rooms and spend the entire time they don’t have an exam studying, and some may not care and simply go out every night.

What’s the best way to spend finals week? You may or may not be stressing about your exams, but you don’t want to spend the whole time studying because you don’t want to cram too much into your head at once. If you go out, since many places will be probably be partying due to the fact that there aren’t any classes, don’t stay out too late, because if you have a final the next day, it’s important to be well rested. It’s also important to stay healthy, eat a balanced diet. These tips are all basic of course, they’re things you were probably told back in middle school before you took an S.O.L. It’s important that you remember these things, though, because it will help you.

Studying is extremely important. But you don’t want to study too much at one time. It’s best to study maybe for no more than two hours at a time, and take each exam as it comes. If you have an exam on Monday, and then two exams on Tuesday for example, focus on your Monday exam first. If you go for too much longer, you’ll get tired of studying and you won’t be able to absorb the material as well. After you’ve been studying for about two hours, take a break for at least 30 minutes to an hour before you pick it up again. During this time, watch TV, chat with your friends, eat a snack and do whatever best relieves you.

When you’re actually taking the exam, don’t rush through it. You’ve probably heard this from your professors, but read each question carefully. Many college professors love to make questions on their exams that will try to trick you and. It’s important that you watch out for these types of questions because they will creep up on you, and if you fall for it, your grade will drop dramatically on the test, you could get a C on a test you could have Aced if you’d been more careful about reading the questions. Professors give you plenty of time, so don’t feel like you need to rush. When you’re finished, look over the test again and check your answers until you’re certain that you’ve done the best you can.

So to all students at Radford, good luck on your exams, and hopefully the semester will end well for you.