With finals quickly approaching, freshmen will begin the process of studying and completing their first week of exams during high school.
And they have numerous resources to provide sage advice for doing well on their first high school finals: Their teachers (review those study guides), their counselors, perhaps an older brother or sister, maybe even St. Joseph of Cupertino, the patron saint of students studying for an exam.
Those resources include every member of the Class of 2022, because one year ago, they were taking high school exams for the first time, too.
Sophomore Jeffery Utzinger says the most important thing that helped him do well his first time was beginning his studies in advance. “I started reviewing for finals a couple of weeks early last year because I knew it would be a lot of information to cram if I started just a few days before,” he said.
Utzinger advises freshmen to use all of their past notes as well as any review materials their teachers handed out. “Working on the study guides was important, but I went through my folders and looked over my past work as well. That information was sometimes even more helpful to study,” he said.
While studying is the most important tasks, Utzinger says that a sane bedtime helped him prepare his mind even more. “Going to bed early every night during finals week really helped me feel more alert and relaxed when I was taking the tests,” he said.
In addition to sleep a healthy breakfast is always a necessity for Utzinger. “I would not be able to take those long tests concentrating on something else like an empty stomach. A big breakfast always helped me be completely focused on the work in front of me,” he said.
His first high school semester exams did not seem to be as tough as Utzinger originally thought it might be. “I was pretty nervous about taking finals for the first time but once they started it kind of just seemed like any other test just longer. I would advise freshmen that it is OK to be nervous as long as you are prepared,” he said.
All of these strategies allowed for a successful first couple of finals weeks for Utzinger. He said, “I always try to remember to stay relaxed and focused on the work at hand. There will always be stress that comes with such a big week, but the best thing to do is always stay calm.”