5 tips to be successful on final exams

Finals can be a challenging and stressful time.

Not only are all your assignments and papers officially due, but you might also be preparing to return home for winter break or even graduate from the university.

That doesn’t mean everything is overwhelming, though. To help you during finals, the Division of Student Life has compiled some tips so you can not only finish your classes successfully, but also with as little stress as possible.

Give yourself breaks

Kyle Votroubek, a staff therapist at the University Counseling Service, suggests that you “decide what you will accomplish that day and give yourself permission to stop when you are done with that much.” This way, you can reward yourself for making progress and avoid getting overwhelmed by what might feel like an endless number of assignments.

One way to unwind during a break can be to attend an event hosted by the Iowa Memorial Union. During finals week, the IMU hosts free events every day—like therapy dog sessions, massages, and a hot chocolate bar—to support you and help you relax as you work through your exams.

Physically do something about your distractions

When you’re studying, stay in the zone by putting your phone or other distractions out of reach until you take a break. This can help you stay engaged in your work and feel more gratified with your progress when you do stop to relax.

Switch where you study

You can also switch up where you study to keep your mind focused; try working in a different college’s building or library, or even visit a café to treat yourself with a snack or caffeinated drink while you work.

Reach out to those around you

Find a study partner or group and hold each other accountable. Celebrate with and encourage each other as each of you makes progress toward the end of the semester. You can also reach out to your professors and TAs—they are here to help you succeed!

Good luck on finals, Hawkeyes!

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