The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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How to Prepare for Finals

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Although it may seem like final exams are a long way away for you, we're exactly a month away from them here. As a freshman I somehow convinced myself that I had plenty of time to learn my class material only a week before exam time. I HIGHLY recommend not being like me. Instead of pushing all the work off till last minute (yes, I know it's fun to watch Netflix instead of actually being productive), get started on your work early.

Although it's not the most exciting option, preparing early for big tests can help you in the long run. Upon reflection, I realized that if I simply took 30 minutes each night to review information from the previous day, I would be much better off for finals and midterms. Previously, I had a terrible habit of forgetting nearly all the information I learned in class within a few days. But through this process I was able to strengthen the concepts learned and understand the important material for later scheduled tests and papers.


If you’re ever unsure about a big test, your best bet would be to talk to either your professor or TA. Professors and TAs have conveniently pre-scheduled office hours in order to help students better understand concepts. Can’t make it because of class or other obligations? No worries! Just shoot your TA or professor an email, and they are more likely than not willing to schedule a specific time that works just for you. Make sure to take advantage of this opportunity if you’re struggling with the coursework, as this can be an important time to learn as well as make connections with your professors.


Last but not least, don’t let nerves get to you. Even though these tests may seem big and important, continually remind yourself that your whole college career doesn’t necessarily depend on you getting an amazing grade. It may sound cliche but not psyching yourself out is an important part of test-taking and can truly aid in how you ultimately perform.


Transitioning to College

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Checking Up On Home

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Being at school can sometimes feel like a completely different universe. I know I’m so constantly tasked with juggling school work and my social life that I sometimes forget to check on family and friends from home! Although I’ve progressively gotten better over the years, I still find it difficult to constantly remind myself that I have to maintain the relationships of friends from home while still at college!