By: Cassidy Van Vooren
With the daunting and feared finals just around the corner, most students you ask aren't ready. They will tell you “There’s still plenty of time” and, “it’s nothing to worry about yet,” while also trying to hide the uncertainty and fear in their eyes. Many students are already stressing, but most are too afraid to ask for help in preparing for finals. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some helpful tips on how to survive finals, and get a teacher on your side.
A key aspect of doing well on your finals, and school in general, is to get the teachers on you side. So, how do you get a teacher on your side? According to Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Callis, a student can get her on their side simply by trying their hardest in class, and being curious. “Trying is huge,” she emphasized. She explained that even if a someone is not the best grade performing student, so long as they try and invest in the class, they will get Mrs. Callis on their side.
“A good student is anyone who has a mind open to learning.” Mr. Beliveau, History and Music appreciation teacher, mentioned what a good student looks like to him. He also revealed how, in his eyes, a student can get a teacher on his or her side. “By paying attention.” He chuckled, presumingly at the obviousness of that tip. “Participating in class. And anyone who exhibits any agency. Does whatever it is that needs to be done next, to progress.”
When asked how to survive finals, sophomore, Alitzel Velasco, emphasized that, “You just gotta make sure to bring snacks. Lots of snacks, and bring water too.” Also adding that she didn’t survive finals last year. She revealed that she: “actually died”.
When questioned about surviving finals during her time as a student, Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Callis said that the main thing not to do is cram. She urged that you start studying 3, and even up to 4, weeks in advance. And when she says study, she doesn’t mean just to look over your notes. She emphasized the importance of really knowing and understanding the information, to the point where you can teach it. Mrs. Callis also praised the helpfulness of study groups. "Study groups are amazing, they get you through college. You really learn from each other." She said.
Many students make mistakes when it comes to what they need to do about finals. Mr. Beliveau weighed in on what he thinks is the biggest mistake is in regards to finals. “Biggest mistake is not realizing what a large chunk of the grade the final can be. It’s a bigger deal if you don’t do well on the final than if you don’t do well on the homework. And sometimes students don’t prepare as much as they should.”
Mr. Polizzi, an Engineering teacher, warned about the dangers of procrastination. “The procrastination of putting things of till the last minute is a bad habit.” When asked about tips on how not to procrastinate, this was his response; “You just have to make a pact with yourself that says; you know what I’m not gonna be doing what I’ve been doing for the past X years.” The Engineering teacher also put a spotlight on the way that you study. Mentioning that studying in half an hour intervals and then moving on to the next subject is better that gorging a large chunk at a time.
Mrs. Callis suggested doing study segments of limited amounts of time, as well as keeping track of time. We all know that time can be wasted so easily, so it must be carefully managed. “Set yourself up to study.” Was another tip that Mrs. Callis had. She said that if you don’t set yourself up correctly, you’re doomed to face a lot of ‘shoot, I gotta go get this’ little trips that lead to long breaks which are not good. So bring your snacks with you when you set up for your studying sessions.
All of the teachers also agreed that having a good student-teacher relationship with their teachers is a benefit to the student. It can help the student get more out of, and understand a class better. If a student is good at communicating with their teacher, it’s easier for the teacher to know when they need help with something and what that something is. It’s also another way to get a teacher on your side, by knowing them.
If finals seem like a death trap, hopefully these tips from the experts who are preparing your finals right now, will help you navigate the minefield. Go set yourself up to study ASAP, and please don’t procrastinate.
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