International Student Tip: How to Get Through Finals

The best time of the year is coming up. No, I don’t mean finals, I mean SUMMER! Just close your eyes think about all the sun, fun, and freedom for 2 seconds. You didn’t close your eyes, did you? Well, in that case, you have one thing to get through before summer and that is – finals. Oh, my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. Luckily for you, I’ve got some tips to get you through this dreadful time.

Listen to your recorded lectures at double the speed.

Don’t lie to yourself. You procrastinated and now you’re short on time. Speed up your recorded lecture by 1.6x or even 2x (some professors are so… slow at talking, tell me about it) to save some time.
Read all your summaries in Times New Roman.

If you found summaries online or if you have friends nice enough to share their summaries with you, we recommend reading them online or printed in this font. It’s been proven that it’s the fastest to read due to its simplicity and familiarity. You’re welcome.
Use the Pomodoro technique.

Let me introduce you to this time management technique. A pomodoro is a 25 minutes work session. After every pomodoro, take a 5 minutes break. After 4 pomodoros have passed, take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. This technique keeps you on your toes and keeps you focused on the task at hand without distractions.
Use a mnemonic device.

This is basically a technique which will help you remember lists better. Think of word using the first letter of each item in the list to make a simple sentence. To remember the order of math operations you can use “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally”, which would be parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add, and subtract. Repeat it out loud several times until you internalize it and you won’t ever forget those lists again!
YouTube it.

Any concept you need to learn quickly or need extra clarification on, use YouTube. You will find videos explaining concepts to you in an easy, simple, and engaging way. I can 100% say that YouTube really helps for quantitative courses!
Block distractions

The simplest way of doing this is by either putting your phone on airplane mode, which will cut off all signals or turning off the Wi-Fi on your laptop. If you still need to use the Internet to study, find a website or app which blocks certain websites and apps (most times that would be Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat). If you can’t trust yourself, just unplug the entire router!
Say it out loud.

Repeating your content out loud over and over again will help you sear it into your brain. Explaining it to your friends and helping others also helps you better remember your material, so try a study group sometimes!
Make a cheat sheet you can’t use.

Putting all the core material on one sheet of paper will help you to remember the main concepts and allow you to make connections to other concepts from that.
Listen to the right playlist.

There is only one rule when it comes to music and studying – stay away from lyrics.
Make your own reward system.

If need be, promise yourself a venti Starbucks instead of Spar’s coffee if you finish the chapter. Reward systems motivate us to get work done, so find your treat. Warning: you may go broke if you reward yourself for every task you complete, so treat with caution (pun intended).
Change your study spots.

If your current study spot, isn’t working out for you, switch it up! You may get inspired and even more motivated with a change in scenery.
Remember the “Forgetting Curve”.

You will forget 90% of what you have learned within the first month unless you reinforce it. No one starts studying a month in advance, (let’s be honest), but the results are still similar. When preparing for exams, always go over the material you studied earlier to test your memory. The more often you do so, the more integrated it will be in your memory.


Write down all your formulas at the beginning of your exam.

Write down the formulas floating around in your head which you tried so hard to remember as soon as you get your exam. If you do so, you won’t have to waste time during your exam trying to remember them. Put it on paper while it’s still fresh in your mind.


Some study habits may work better for you than other, so try out a few to figure out your best one. We hope some of these will help you ace those exams. Good luck! And remember… there’s just one obstacle left between you and summer.