our everyday life

How to Study for a High School Final Exam

by Fitzalan Gorman

Few things make high school final exam time more stressful than cramming. Waiting until the night before the test to study every note, comment, quiz and scribble can quickly make you feel overwhelmed. Instead, create a study plan several days ahead of time, design an effective study area and tackle your material in sections.

Start Ahead of Time

If it is still early in the semester, begin studying for your final exam now. Put in a little time every day, and that final exam will seem less intimidating. After school, read over your notes from class and paraphrase your teacher’s words into your own. When it comes time to study for your exams, use these notes. Ask yourself to repeat the material back but in different words; understanding is better than straight memorization.

Designate a Study Area

Everyone has his own unique study habits. Some people like studying in complete silence, while others want music playing in the background. Designate a specific work area in your house where you are comfortable and can work clutter-free. Establish a routine where you study at the same time every day. Try to eliminate any interruptions or distractions during this time. Before you sit down to study, have all the necessary materials with you to minimize distractions.

Have a Study Plan

Giving yourself plenty of studying time is essential for exam success. Instead of randomly reviewing your notes, create a study plan to keep you on task and organized. Start several days before your exam and write out a daily to-do list. Prioritize what you want to accomplish each day, such as reviewing Chapters 6 through 10 or reworking all your quizzes. Create a timetable, such as studying for 50 minutes followed by a 10-minute break, to keep your studying organized and to avoid getting too overwhelmed. Keep your plan manageable, because trying to study everything in a single afternoon will only leave your brain feeling burned out. If you do not understand something, go ask your teacher for extra help a few days before the exam.

Exam Day and the Night Before

Now is the time to feel confident that you know the material. Instead of stressing about the exam, remember all the time you dedicated to studying and see the exam as your opportunity to show off all that you have learned. The night before your exam, pull all your things together and get to sleep at a decent hour. When you leave the house, make sure you have any required materials for your exam, such as pencils, formula sheets and a calculator.

About the Author

Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images