How to stay focused during finals week

Simple tips to study your best

Finals are serious business.

They can make or break your grade in any given class and it’s your last effort to make an impact before the semester ends. It’s already difficult to study for one exam, but finals week is a true test of your ability to focus.

Here are some tips on how to get in the zone and defeat your finals.

1) Turn off your phone

There is nothing killing your studying faster than a chatty friend informing you how much you’re missing out on a party, TV show or whatever else they’re doing and you’re not.

Remember this: you’re sacrificing those things to get a better grade. If you’re committed to your mission, turning off your phone will be a practical step in the right direction. Don’t just put it away, either. Go the whole nine, leave it at home or bury it in the bottom of your bag.

You’ll forget about it in no time at all.

2) Disconnect from social media

Whatever you do, don’t go on Facebook or any other social media. You aren’t missing anything by logging out for a few hours, especially because most of things people are posting about right now are about being stressed for finals. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you can go on for just a second either – we all know how difficult it is to unplug once you’re on.

Take some initiative and stay away from all platforms from the get-go. You have a whole lifetime to binge on cat videos.

3) Drink some coffee, tea or water

Keeping a drink handy isn’t only a good way to keep everything right in front of you (see No. 4), it also keeps pesky headaches away and fills your stomach to drive off hunger. You can’t beat the energy boost if you’ve been chronically dehydrated – as most people are.

Just be ready to head to the bathroom a lot more.

4) Have everything you need right in front of you

Prepare everything you need to study right from the start to keep yourself focused, even the little things you probably won’t need – like a spare pair of glasses or that $500 textbook you never used.

You’ll be thankful when they’re right in front of you if you need them and if you don’t ever use them, so what? Better safe than sorry. This technique will keep you in your seat where you belong. Just be careful to not overdo it and tear your bag with a whole pantry of food or a personal printer.

5) Take breaks often and outside

Something almost all of us forget to do during finals is relax.

You can’t be productive if you’ve been sitting in the same spot for six hours; you’ll simply burn out. Do something simple. Fill up your water bottle, use the bathroom, get all of the little things done at once so once you’re back you can be productive.

Even if the weather is bad, fresh air does wonders coupled with a 20-minute walk around campus. Staying inside might only continue to stifle your brain. No, you aren’t slacking. This tip is for your piece of mind, which in turn creates the best projects and papers.

Work hard, rest hard.

Aubrey McLaughlin is a features staff writer. Features desk can be reached at