Tips & Tricks: Navigating the finals exam season

Photo by Garrett Shoemaker Student Publications

As finals season approaches, students here at the Institute are cracking down on their studying and are hoping to finish off the fall semester strong. 

Campus is bustling with students rushing to class, working on group projects and studying for midterms. 

Even finding a prime spot at Price Gilbert is becoming increasingly difficult. 

Grab a cup of Blue Donkey coffee and take these tips and tricks into consideration as you prepare for the demanding finals season ahead. 

Office Hours

The Technique cannot stress this one enough. Ask for help. Professors are here to help you succeed (and they don’t bite). Attend office hours. Go prepared with questions and concerns you have about material. 

It makes all the difference if you do. Professors are more than willing to assist and actually get excited to help students.

They are passionate about the material they teach and want their students to succeed.

If you’ve never been to office hours, we suggest doing so during this finals season. Do not wait until the last minute though — professors do not appreciate a flood of students knocking at their doors the evening before a big exam. Stay ahead of the curve and reach out for help well in advance. 

Study Plan

With the high-pressure environment, the worst part of finals week is the fact that you are taking so many cumulative exams at the same time. 

Time management during the weeks leading up to finals week is crucial. It is impossible to cram for three to five exams the night before and still expect to be on your A game.

It is much more feasible to split up your time and spend days and weeks in advance preparing.

The Technique’s advice is to go through all the content that will be covered on an exam well in advance and figure out what you are struggling with and what you need to review. Notes and study guides are a good place to start.

From there, spend your remaining time working on your sore spots to perfect your knowledge. It is a fail-proof plan that leaves you with a lot less anxiety compared to if you would have saved your studying for the night before. 

Cramming never leaves students feeling good about their readiness for an exam. Think about it, when have you ever thought, “boy, I sure am glad I didn’t start this project earlier”?


To get through the long   nights, caffeine is a college student’s best friend. Although we do not encourage caffeine addiction-level coffee drinking, it comes in handy during finals season when you are up late studying at the CULC.

A stop at Blue Donkey, the Tech Square Starbucks or even a local gas station for an energy drink is never a bad idea when you have two finals the next morning. In moderation, caffeine can help power you through a busy night.


What is better than one Tech student’s brain? Two Tech students’ brains. 

Getting together with students in your classes and studying for finals together allows you to share ideas, help each other and lift spirits during the difficult weeks. 

There may be a formula you just cannot crack but your classmate is a master at and vice versa. Students can help each other through collaborative studying. 

Having others around you helps lighten the mood and keeps you entertained. Whether you crack jokes during your study breaks or go on Insomnia Cookie runs after your late nights end, having friends with you helps get you through the upcoming weeks.

While the thought of preparing for finals can be scary, there are many ways to alleviate the stress and anxiety that accompany it. The Technique’s final piece of advice for students: do not procrastinate.

Studying is not something that can be rushed. The feeling of walking into an exam woefully unprepared and walking out with a sinking feeling knowing you could have done much better if you had simply studied earlier is not worth procrastinating.