Crushing Your MTSU Finals: A Guide

Oh, finals season. The one thing standing in the way of you and 40 days of the holiday break. It can be a very stressful time for many students, and here at Student Voice, we want to give you some resources so that you can do your best on the tests! Here are 5 tips to crush your finals.

Don’t sleep on getting sleep

Taylor Swift wearing sleeping mask that says "you need to calm down"

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First of all – just breathe. You may feel like there is not enough time in the day to get all your work done but you still need to sleep. 

At the end of the semester, sleeping patterns become the last thing on any college student’s mind. “I have to pull an all-nighter to write this paper.” “If I don’t stay up till at least 2 a.m. than I am being unproductive.” 

Studies show that those statements will lead to worse performance and poor health. Even if you are one of those people who claim to do their best work while burning the midnight oil, ultimately, lack of sleep and irregular sleeping patterns will affect your health now and in the future. 

So, don’t forget to care for yourself this season. Your success is directly related to your sleep! Sleep is NOT for the weak, it’s for the mentally prepared. 

Helpful hints:

  • Don’t fall asleep to the glare of your phone or laptop. Doing so exposes your body to light, which makes it harder to get good sleep because your circadian rhythms of light are all off! 
  • Fall asleep around the same time, get up around the same time, every day. This is easier to type than do, but it is important for your body to have regular patterns so it can regulate all the hormones in your body which will result in clearer thinking! 

Time block

You mean I have to make a schedule to succeed? Yes, yes you do. It can be very overwhelming with all the assignments that are due. Sometimes you spend so much time on one assignment that you don’t give enough time for another and one of your classes suffers.

This is where time blocking comes in handy. You set aside a specific span of time to do a project, and once that time period ends, you have to stop and move on. This not only makes sure you get everything done but also makes you focus better to do as much as you can in that time block! 

Helpful Hints:

  • Google Calendar is my favorite place to time block in. Each day is laid out by hours, you can color coordinate, it’s free, and there’s an app! 
  • Time block your week on Sunday’s, that way you know exactly what you have to do before the week even starts. You can add things as needed throughout the week. 

For some more time management tips, check out this article from Forbes on time management secrets! 

Have a study buddy who doubles as an accountability partner 

Study partners collaborating in James E. Walker Library. Photo by J. Intintoli.

Study partners collaborating in James E. Walker Library. Photo by J. Intintoli.

Studying alone on your couch listening to your favorite Netflix series is not the best way to prepare for your finals. You need someone else who is studying the same material and will keep you accountable for what you are (or are not) getting done. 

You’re BFF may not be the best person to do this with because instead of studying, you’ll just start making TikTok videos (#realtalk). Find someone who cares about your success, also needs help studying and can get you that final grade you are shooting for! 

Helpful hints:

  • Meet once or twice a week in a private library study room to get a good hour or two of focused studying. You can reserve study rooms here
  • Have a little fun with it. Do quizzes, make up games, or provide incentives for studying (i.e. if we finish studying Chapter 10 we can go to Cookout). 

Practice Makes Perfect

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Studying material takes consistency. You can’t just look at something once and expect it to stick. Teach yourself or a friend the material to make sure you understand, review old quizzes, and make flashcards to quiz yourself. 

It takes time to learn, so don’t be the one who waits until the last minute to study- it won’t work in your favor! 

Helpful Hint: 

  • Buy a dry erase board. This has helped me so much in the past! Writing out what I am learning plus explaining to myself what I’m writing, has always led to success! I essentially become the “teacher” and it is a great way to check myself to see if I do in fact thoroughly understand the material. 
  • Start studying at least 3 days before your final. This will give you plenty of time to review material, see if you need to go more in-depth, and figure out if you have any questions. 

Ask Questions

puppies tilt head with questions marks over their head

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It’s okay to not know the answer to everything! Reach out to your classmates and ask for help. If they don’t know, your professor will be glad to answer an email with the answer or you can go to their office hours for an in-depth explanation. 

If you don’t fully understand you run the risk of confusing yourself further which is not going to lead to success on your final! 

Helpful Hint:

  • ASK questions! No really, don’t be scared. It’s okay if you don’t understand. Ultimately, it’s your grade so even if you feel like it may be a stupid question… there are no stupid questions on the road to success! 


Part of success is about mindset. We here at Student Voice know you have all the tools to succeed and know you are going to crush those finals! Good luck MTSU!

the grinch says "go time"

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