Make Finals Fly By: Pro Tips for Acing Your Exams

Photo by Jess Cartwright

Freaking out about finals? Take a breath  — Valley’s got you covered. Here are five tips to make acing your finals a breeze.


According to Business Insider, water wins out over coffee and energy drinks when it comes to study-time beverages. Avoid the crash, and treat your body to some good old fashioned H2O. Business Insider also recommends eating healthy snacks like fruits and berries while studying in order to “reduce the level of toxins in your bloodstream and improve memory function.”

Create Memory Tools

Remember those cheesy songs your elementary school teachers used to sing to help you learn the names of the months or grammar rules? Yeah, there’s a reason you remember them. Your brain likes to hang on to catchy stuff like that. While you might feel a little bit silly drawing little cartoons in your notes or humming jingles in the library, your brain will thank you when it’s test time.


While pulling all-nighters is sometimes a necessary evil in college, finals week is not that time. In fact, skipping out on sleep is just about the worst thing you can do to prep for your big exam. According to USA Today, not sleeping will cause you to “remember less of everything you studied and your ability to reason answers you’re unsure of will be severely diminished.”

When it’s crunch time and you have to choose between sleep and a few more hours of studying, catch some z’s and your testing performance will be improved greatly.

Take breaks

“Okay. I’m going to start studying now, and I’m not going to stop until I’m ready for my exam.”

We’ve all said this to ourselves and then, most likely, failed epically. This nose-to-the-grindstone method typically results in frustration and often leads to giving up. We end up studying even less than we would have if we had been a little less harsh on ourselves.

It turns out science has our back on this one. According to a study on Science Daily, “brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.”

Translation: take breaks! It will actually help you. Taking short breaks will allow you to study more effectively and efficiently.


Finals week does not have to be awful. In fact, it shouldn’t be. According to ABC News, laughter can actually help you out by “amping up memory and recall.” So don’t shut yourself down emotionally just to power through this dreaded week – let yourself laugh!

All right, all you super-smart Valley readers out there, now you know all the pro tips for passing all your finals with flying colors. You’re ready to take finals by the ballpoint pens. You got this!