6 Survival Tips for Finals Week

The Wellness Center at Westminster College offers these six tips for de-stressing and self-care during finals week. For additional coping skills/activities or to discuss any issues or concerns, please contact the Wellness Center at (573) 592-5361. Good luck!

Have a game plan.

  • Choose reasonable and specific goals that you can accomplish for each study session.
  • Survey your class notes or textbook and mark off the ideas that seem most important; use any study information that the professor provided or emphasized.
  • Try to stay organized and cut down on procrastination. By doing so, your workload will seem much more manageable.
  • Review key concepts by frequent, intermittent, and intensive reviews of study guides, note cards, diagrams, and outlines.


  • Taking the time to relax can result in better performance during exam time.
  • Healthy relaxation can take many forms and often depend on individual preferences. Consider deep breathing exercises, prayer, meditation, exercise, laughing, art projects, or listening to music.


  • You need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  Uninterrupted sleep is NECESSARY for your brain to process all the information that you have taken in during cramming.

Reward yourself.

  • If you have achieved a goal, such as two hours of studying, reward yourself with something you like doing.
  • Take breaks in between study sessions. Go for a walk or enjoy a healthy snack.

Stay positive.

  • Use positive self statements such as “I can do this” and “I am strong and capable.”
  • Stay away from negative self-judgments. Accept the fact that in the limited time remaining, you may not be able to cover all of the information in your textbooks/notes.

Don’t abuse caffeine.

Use less than 2 servings of caffeine daily. More than 200 mg of caffeine can disrupt your ability to concentrate during studying and test taking, and it also affects your sleep!


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