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How To Stay Focused During Finals

This is a post especially for students as the semester has come to and end which means those dreaded finals are looming. Here, I have excerpted 3 of 5 steps that Arielle Piat-Sauve has written on how to stay focused during your finals for HerCampus.com.  It makes me nervous just thinking about it for other people, even though it’s been six years since I took an exam.  I found exam times very stressful, largely because I’d have a tendency to leave all my work to the last minute.  Apply these tips, and you may just avoid stress, or reduce it substantially, and significantly improve your grades.

How To Stay Focused During Finals

Work environment
Practicing good study habits is a must, and I find that where you choose to study is key. Although I do love the comfort of my bedroom, during finals I definitely feel the need to get out of my apartment. Getting dressed (even if it’s to jump into your regular end-of-semester sweatpants) and making your way outside, will already make you feel as if you have accomplished something. I usually am the most productive while studying at the library. The law library is usually my first choice.

Take a break

With all those long hours spent at the library, it is important to remember that you are allowed to take a break. Taking a break will actually renew your energy flow and allow you to focus better the next day. Sleep is also very important during finals.

Stay positive and motivated

Stress can sometimes bring out the worst in people and you may even find yourself at the brink of an emotional breakdown (trust me, I’ve been there). When you are overwhelmed with school and all the work you have to do, everything always appears worse than it is and as a result you may find yourself increasingly irritable. This is when you want to stay positive and motivated. Sometimes talking to a friend, or calling a family member can help you relieve some of that built up stress and anxiety and help you stay focused.

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I couldn’t agree more with every step here of how to stay focused during finals.   The last point on staying motivated is key as it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  If you do get to that point, take a break, do some exercise.  That’s what I’d like to add – exercise is so important during these times.  It raises your mood, clears your head, feeds your brain with oxygen and enables you to refocus after times of near burnout.  Exercise helps your memory too as you may have read on this site.  I’d get to a stalemate sometimes, tear my hair out a little, tell myself I was going to fail, and then go for a run for half and hour.  I’d then sit down at my desk (after a shower) and solve problems I couldn’t solve before, almost immediately.


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