finals season


Spring has sprung, the flowers have bloomed and you’re ready to step into Finals Season. Have you studied enough during the year, how good are your notes, don’t even think about cramming. Long hours and big stress is ahead of you over the next few weeks or months. We know some people will start writing soon, and others will be writing right until December, you can’t afford to get stuck right now, we know that. Which is why we’ve put together these tips to keeping you healthy and focused for finals season!

1. Keep Calm

Easier said than done, right? However, if you have a panic attack or make yourself sick from worry, you could miss the exam or worse.
Remember, this exam is a portion of your final mark for the year, yes it’s an important one, but if you’ve put in your time and worked hard this year you will see it reflected in your grades.

If you are feeling stressed out and can’t seem to calm down, remember your friends and family are there for you. Give them a call. If you don’t feel like they’d listen every University has a student helpline, talk to someone. There’s nothing that you can’t do and finals is just one part of your future. If you are having negative thoughts and just can’t shake the feeling of anxiety, SADAG is equipped to help!

To contact a counselor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday,
Call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182
For a suicidal Emergency contact us on 0800 567 567

2. Work Out a Finals Study Plan

We’ve given you tips and tricks on study methods and learning hacks throughout the year. We hope you found one that suits your study patterns. Now’s the time to put these practices to use.

Ensure you allow yourself ample time to review, re-learn and forget again. You don’t want to cram the night before your exam and you really don’t want to spend every waking minute reading and re-reading the course material.

Set aside an hour to two every day for certain topics.
Cycle through them and come back to them a week or two before your exam. This should allow you to refresh and revise whatever you feel you’re not sure on. Another great way to test your own knowledge is to work in a study group.

Remember: Cramming is the fastest way to forget something.

3. Rest. Relax. Renew

Make sure you’re practicing self care during this period. It’s important to give your body the three things it needs all year round: Rest, Healthy Food and Exercise.

Remember to take 15 minute breaks in between study sessions to do something other than sit at your desk or browse social media. Go for a run around your res, dust off the yoga mat and get some core exercise, eat an apple. Stepping away is known as a “refresher” and they’re super valuable for your frame of mind.

Likewise make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Studying too late or staying out too long is not a great idea as tired minds do not absorb information.

Protip: DO NOT party on days between exams. A hangover or lack of sleep now could be the shot in the foot that makes you fail; likewise taking a two hour break to play FIFA with your roommates is also probably not a good idea either.

4. Be Prepared for Finals

We don’t mean just studying. Know where your exams will be written and take note of the date and time you need to be at the hall. Then set reminders on your phone, computer and tell your mom to remind you. The last thing you need is to miss your exam because you forgot the time or location.

It’s also a good idea to ask ahead of time if you are required to bring any specialist equipment, like scientific calculators, pens in specific colours or any other items so that you are packed and prepped in advance.

5. Take Control of the Exam

It’s important that you are relaxed, focused and comfortable when you write your exam. A great way to control your exam is to use a technique we call RAARR!

(R)ead: Read through your entire test book before you start answering,
(A)ssess: Assess which questions will be quick to answer, and which will need more time for explanations or thought,
(A)nswer: Answer the quick questions, then head back and do the longer form ones, skip those that you are unsure of for now.
(R)eview: Re-read the questions and check your answers, do they make sense and are they accurate?
(R)epeat: Go back to any questions you left blank or needed to re-do.

It’s important to focus on you and your work. Ignore anyone who finishes first or earlier than you do, it doesn’t mean they answered everything and it also doesn’t mean they knew the material better than you. Remember, once these exams are over, you need to make like a Disney Princess and “let it go”. You can only do your best and learn from this experience so that you improve for next time.

There you have it! We hope that you have found some helpful hints here to get you through this tough time. Good luck for your finals. You can do it!

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