Freshmen: How to Improve your scores on your finals

Veteran test-takers offer their advice


Zack Gregor

During G period on Dec. 13, seniors study for their upcoming final exams.

Zack Gregor, Reporter

With the semester slowly creeping to an end students alike rush to get in their last minute assignments to try and inch their grade up that last bit. Students whip out their calculators and figure the bare minimum of what they need to secure that A in that one particular class. 

Many have planned their study schedule and already put in many hours getting preparing for the first tests on Dec. 18. Exams continue on Dec. 19, Dec. 20, and Dec. 21.

Although finals seem intimidating, especially for freshmen who may be taking a comprehensive semester exam for the first time in their lives, seniors have noted if you prepare, the exam grades typically fall into place.

Senior Class officer and leprechaun Michael McNulty said, “Freshman and sophomore year I used to study the night before, but junior year I learned I should start studying a couple of weeks before. Finals week in general isn’t too hard if you pay attention throughout the semester and you study and stay focused in class.”

It is also important to figure out which classes will require more prep time and which classes will have finals count 20 percent, as opposed to 10 or 15 percent. Given that students have a limited amount of study time between now and their first final on Tuesday, this is a technique that can help them improve their grades. 

Senior Marco Rebolledo said, “I prioritize my classes based on what I am struggling with the most. I make sure I work on the classes I need help in the most first. I also make sure I have all my projects done and packets, study guides and materials I need to study set aside for each class. I take time on each subject and work on it a little bit at a time. 

“Finals week is definitely not as bad as it seems. It’s mostly just anxiety and stress leading up to the tests, but once you are there taking the test, if you’ve studied well, you will be fine. Don’t overthink it and don’t be nervous. You’re just going to get in there and your going to think it’s a lot worse than it actually is and you are going to get yourself psyched out. Just stick with your gut and you will do fine.”

McNulty’s advice about using the bathroom is worth noting, as teachers will be assigned to key locations in Kelly and Loretto halls to prevent students from being out of classrooms during the final exams. Teachers have been instructed not to release students from rooms, even if students have finished their tests. 

Senior Kensington Speer gave some tips for finals week, especially for the members of the Class of 2022. 

She said, “Although finals are very stressful, make sure to relax right before you take the tests. Take a few breaths so you can clear your mind before you start. Get lots of sleep. It’s better to get good rest than to stay up all night studying,” Speer said. 

“Be sure to use any study guides teachers give you or create your own. Writing things down with pen and paper helps for memorization.” Speer also said that it’s good to make a schedule for the week before and the week of finals to study and help better manage time. 

Another senior, Blake Lowe, gave his advice for how to handle finals. 

He said, “The most important tip is to create a study schedule. Planning ahead of time when you will study will help to prevent procrastination and to ensure that you peak in your subject knowledge on the day of the final,” Lowe said about getting ready for the four-day process of taking semester exams. 

He also added that he likes using Quizlet to help him memorize material and that this study aid helps him plan breaks in his rigorous study schedule. “I think that it’s very hard to focus for more than three hours at a time,” he said. 

Rebolledo said, “Just don’t overthink it. It is stressful, but if you overthink it you will just be more stressed than you need to be. Take it seriously but don’t over stress about it.”