Strategies for Final Papers and Exams

Dear all,

Amidst Finals Week Fall 2016, I am taking the time to briefly discuss some of my strategies for tackling final papers and exams.

For those enrolled in Liberal Arts courses, final papers are often a requirement. Though many people do write most effectively in the days just before the paper is due, I have found that this practice can be risky. In my humble opinion, it is good to at least do some preliminary planning, outlining, and perhaps research at least a week before the paper’s due date, so that I can gauge how much time will be required to produce my best work.

My approach to exams is similar – I try to take the time a few days before the exam to gauge how much time I’ll need to go over all of the necessary material. Otherwise, I run the risk of realizing that I can never cover the material necessary to perform well on the exam in just a day or two, no matter how much sleep I skip. (Speaking of sleep, naps are crucial for my health!)

Otherwise, I try to eat well, sleep well, and use caffeine judiciously. I also try to leave time for some of my favorite stress-reliving activities, such as listening to music and guided meditations. I am motivated to finish the semester with by best effort, because I know it will all be over soon!


Kristian Sheeley, Junior Philosophy and English Lit double major

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