How to Survive Finals: A Biotech Guide
Monday, June 10, 2019 at 7:44 AM
Site Director


By Andrew Miller

    Hello Biotech, it’s that time of the year again. It’s almost time for finals, which as many of you know can be the most stressful time of the year, especially for underclassmen. Taking one test on content you learned almost 9 months ago can be hard on its own, let alone taking 3 to 4 of them. However, with these tips and tricks it can be just as easy as any other test. Also, just an obligatory notice: everyone has their own strategies that work for them when preparing for and taking tests. Find yours. If you study in a way that works for someone else, it might not work for you. Figure out what helps you the most.

[1] Don’t start studying the night before. Don’t do it. This shouldn’t need to be stated. Start at least a week or two in advance. You’re not review one month of content before a final, you’re reviewing nine. It’s not a good idea to cram all of that in in one night. All you’ll be doing is keeping yourself up incredibly late, which studies show does in fact lower test scores.

[2] Use the syllabus or, if your teacher provides it, study guide to your advantage. Produce your own study materials based on the content in both of these. It helps in retention and overall preparation, as well as making you look good if you share it to other people. Keep in mind that especially on the Freshman and Sophomore year finals, they are made by teachers from the whole MCVSD, meaning some of the questions for topics like freshman biology aren’t exactly Ellsworthy.

[3] Group study. Nuff said.

[4] Another helpful set of resources is the internet. There are tons of websites around that can help you with a variety of classes, such as for English, Bozeman Biology for Biology and Khan Academy for pretty much all of your needs.

[5] Lastly, Youtube has plenty of super useful resources for studying a variety of topics, like Crash Course for Biology and History, along with Thug Notes if you want a relaxing, humorous look at the literature you’ve read just to refresh yourself. If you’re an IB Chemistry student’s future self, Richard Thornley is an invaluable source for sample problems and mark schemes.

    The most important part of studying is remembering not to burn yourself out. You might study for 8 hours at a time, but at that point you’ll probably feel exhausted. Take a break every once in awhile and eat, watch a show, and don’t become obsessed with your GPA. That’s never healthy. You have a lot of content to study, but your sanity comes first. If it starts to feel too tedious, relax for a bit, but don’t relax 60 minutes for every 20 studied. The work is going to have to get done eventually. Just keep a clear mind the whole time, make sure you know the coursework, and by the time you have the test in front of you, you’ll be ready.

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