The Ultimate Finals Day Checklist (Finals 2nd Semester 2024)

The key is going into your test relaxed, organized, and rested. Here’s our Ultimate Finals Day Checklist to help minimize the stress and maximize your confidence.

Night Before the Exams – Before Dinner​

1. Review:

Dedicate a time for a comprehensive review of key subject matter, including crucial formulas, significant concepts, and essential summaries. Prioritize areas that demand extra focus and understanding.​

2. Organize your materials:

Organize and pack essential exam materials. Make sure that your exam bag contains all necessary items, calculators, table, books, notes, and any permitted reference materials.

Make sure your electronics are charged as well. Don’t forget to pack water snacks and a drink. Pack high-energy comfort food. Think fruit, granola, muffin​– not Oreos. ​

3. Stress-relief activities:

Engage in calming activities aimed at reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation. Try your favorite activities – ones that help your brain relax. Your choice – read a book you enjoy, listen to music, talk to friends, watch TV, etc. Get your brain to cool down and forget about finals. ​

4. Plan your morning:

The typical person makes 35,000 decisions a day. It is extremely taxing on your brain – the engine you use for your exams. It is critical that you minimize the number of decisions you need to make on exam day.

Lay out your clothes, plan your breakfast, decide what time you’re leaving, and get your bag ready the night before. The morning should be automatic – no decisions.

5. Get your sleep:

You absolutely must prioritize good night’s sleep, aiming for a recommended duration of 7-8 hours. You should prioritize this in the nights leading up to exams to avoid playing catch-up the night before.

Quality sleep boosts alertness, enhances cognitive function, and facilitates better information retention for the upcoming exam. Daytime studying is when you absorb knowledge. During REM sleep, your brain creates and solidifies connections.​

Morning of the Finals Exam

1. A Good Breakfast:

Eat a well-balanced breakfast that includes protein. Carbs give you a short-term boost, but protein keeps you satiated longer. You do not want to be hungry during an exam. Don’t let your parents make you an unusually big breakfast either. Keep it simple, normal, and calm. No eating on-the-go. ​

2. Check your “equipment”:

Perform a thorough check to ensure all essential materials, including your school ID, exam tickets, writing tools, calculator, and any necessary aids, are packed and ready for the exam.

3. Leave early for school:

Plan your departure to arrive at the school well in advance. This helps minimize stress from potential delays, helping you be in a relaxed and composed mindset for the exam. Spending all that time studying just to be freaked out by being late isn’t worth it.​

4. Boost your ego:

Cultivate a positive and confident mindset by visualizing success, reinforcing your preparation, and embracing a belief in your abilities. Most students don’t feel prepared, even after hours of studying. It’s a natural nervousness.

This is just a test – words on paper. It’s not medieval torture. The planet will still be revolving when you’re done. A fun trick – after you sit down, make yourself smile.

Think of a fun memory, a silly joke, a hysterical friend. Even a fake smile produces endorphins and helps us relax. If nothing comes to mind, think of this.

During the High School Finals Exam​

1. Understand the instructions:

Prior to starting the exam, carefully read and understand all provided instructions. Ensure clarity regarding the structure, marking scheme, and any additional directives. If you are unclear about anything, ask your teacher or proctor.​

2. Manage your time:

Think about how you plan to use your time for each section or question. Consider the weight and difficulty. Stick to your planned schedule to make sure you finish on time. Nothing worse than losing points on questions you didn’t get to.​

3. Start with the easier stuff:

Begin with the sections or questions you feel most confident about. This approach builds momentum, boosts confidence, and potentially saves time for the more challenging segments. Often the easier questions give students clues for the harder ones.​

4. Stay calm:

Don’t let hard sections throw you off, remain composed. Consider temporarily moving ahead and revisiting them later when time permits, maintaining a fluid approach.

Just keep moving. Studies show that your brain will keep working the questions you skipped. You may find that when you go back, they will seem easier.​

5. Check your work:

If time allows, review and double-check your answers for accuracy, completeness, and clarity. Don’t second guess yourself just because you’re nervous. Trust your mind and your gut. You’re more prepared than you think.​

Chicago Academic
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