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Finals Prep for Success

What you can do now to get the best grades possible on your upcoming final exams
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Freshman Grace Shanahan studying for finals

Final exams are getting closer and the stress is real, but there are some things that can improve the finals experience. 

They are scheduled to take place Friday, December 15 to Wednesday, December 20. The first day will include the first two periods’ exams, with a fifteen minute break in between. After the weekend’s rest, the following three days will repeat the same formula. 

Finals will count as ten percent of this semester’s final grade. 

The main thing to do in order to be ready is study. Being prepared boosts confidence, and of course, helps provide a better score. 

“I study at least an hour each night just taking around ten to fifteen minutes looking over class work that I have exams in. This really helps the material stick in my head and I know that it will continue sticking in my mind every day more and more because I am continually reviewing,” says freshman Grace Shanahan.

Reviewing each night will definitely help. The brain will memorize and adapt to the things that are reviewed.

Foods are also a huge consideration when it comes to tests. Eating the right things can improve concentration and stamina, but the wrong food can do the opposite. 

Although sugar is a great fuel, empty foods like candy wear off quickly. Instead, try having whole grains and fruit for breakfast. These quality carbs provide energy and fuel for the test. 

“I’m bringing candy in my backpack, and using it as a reward system. If I eat it after the test, it encourages me to keep pushing through,” says freshman Miranda Valencia.

If a boost is still needed, having a small piece of candy right before and right after the exam not only boosts energy, but rewards hard work. 

Hydration is important everyday, but especially during exams. Dehydration can make you feel less alert and hinder your ability to focus. Keeping hydrated, especially the morning before, allows the brain to think and focus better. Water is also a great foil for test anxiety. In fact, many therapists recommend sipping water as a grounding technique. 

As tempting as it is to stay up until three in the morning cramming the night before, sleep is more beneficial than the extra late night studying. Memory and concentration are both heavily connected to sleep. People are less likely to remember what they learned at night and more likely to forget what was studied during the day if they get bad sleep.  

“I’m going to try and go to sleep early the night before finals, but I’m afraid I’ll be too nervous to relax,” says Valencia.

Stress can often hinder sleep, but increasing the body’s melatonin can help. Raspberries, tea with honey, and cherries are great sources of natural melatonin. Eating them about an hour before bed helps the brain fall asleep. Another option is melatonin gummies that can be picked up without prescription at any drugstore.

If students don’t have an exam in any period, they are excused from attending school until their next one. 

Seniors do not have to take exams if they have an A or above in the respective class, unless it is AP or they have more than eight unexcused absences. 

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Carmen Houppert, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
My name is Carmen Areli Houppert, and I am a freshman in journalism 1. I have two cats and love to read and write. My clubs and activities include Latinos United, theater, and adult choir. I am so excited to contribute to the Marist website.

Emily Bulvan, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
My name is Emily Bulvan, I am a freshman at Marist. I run cross country and I am going to do track. Outside of school I love hanging out with my friends, napping, and shopping.

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