The Lion Pride Study Guide for Finals

Posted by Shannon Hui on April 5, 2018

A YU Perspective | York & U

As we near the last stretch of the school term, there is one more hurdle to clear before we reach the finish line: final exams. The week (or weeks) of final exams can be a stressful time. However, with the right preparation and some handy York U resources, you won’t have to pull an all-nighter and cram in those last three chapters in one night! To help you with the last sprint, here is my study guide to help you conquer final exams and assignments.

If your courses have been affected by the labour disruption, you are likely aware of the academic accommodations and remediation options available to help students complete their courses successfully and in a timely manner. To learn more about the remediation options available, check the Labour Update website at and the Assessed Grades page at

Get Organized

During the term, you have probably collected a small mountain of papers for each course, including class notes, handouts and assignments. These materials are an important guide to help you study so it’s important to organize them. I suggest going through your course outline as you separate the materials by subject. This allows you to determine if you have missed anything important from class that might be listed on one of these papers. If you realize you missed a lecture, be sure to ask a friend for their notes!

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Get organized to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize!

Create a Study Schedule

The key to ensuring you are prepared for final exams is to manage your time wisely. Creating a schedule allows you to stay committed to planned study sessions and to keep track of what you’ve studied (or haven’t studied) so far. It’s also a great way to keep your eye on the prize as you countdown to the date of your final exams! Looking for some extra time management tips? Check out our previous post, “Time Management Tips for York U Students”.

Start Early

Give yourself extra time to study for your exams! By starting as soon as you can, you will better absorb the content and it also gives you extra leeway if you fall behind your study schedule.

Study Smart

Each of your exams and final assignments will have a different format, whether it be multiple choice questions or essay responses. For multiple choice exams, a good strategy is to concentrate on building your understanding of concepts in order to ascertain key information and facts. On the other hand, completing practice questions to ensure you have structured answers and thorough knowledge of the material will best prepare you for essay-based exams. As such, you should cater your study strategies to the style of your exam.

York U offers a variety of learning resources which will help you in the study process. Learning Skills Services offers weekly workshops covering topics such as reading and note-taking, managing academic stress and critical thinking. The Writing Centre also provides services for writing support. Another great resource is the Study Hub, which is an online tool to find tutors, people to study with and others looking for help with specific subjects.

Find Your Study Spots

Did you know that by alternating your study spots, you can improve your ability to retain information? Sitting in the same spot at the library for hours on end can be draining! A change of scenery is a simple but effective way to refresh your mind and improve productivity. Look for locations with minimal distractions to help keep you on track. How to find these productivity havens? Use the Places to Study Search page. You can filter options according to your preferences whether it be a whisper-only location or a spot with white boards.

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Switch up your study spots for a change of scenery and to refresh your mind!

Ask For Help

You’re not running this race alone! If you need help understanding a concept or have a question, reach out to your peers and instructors. In fact, studying in groups can be helpful to gain different perspectives and ensure you do not overlook any important material. A great place to hold your study session is one of the York University Libraries. You can book a room for a maximum of three hours at Scott, Sound and Moving Image (SMIL), Steacie, Bronfman or Frost libraries. For more information about room bookings, take a look at the Library Room Booking System page.

Take a Break 

Give yourself some time to recharge between study sessions with short breaks. This is the perfect opportunity to eat a snack and go for a walk. If you have some more time on your hands, attend an event on campus! To learn about the cool things happening this month, check out the York University Events page.

Image taken from StockSnap
Take a break to eat a healthy snack and get an extra boost of energy!

Get a Good Night’s Rest

While you may want to get through all the material as quickly as possible, pulling an all-nighter is not the suggested route. After hours of studying, your brain needs to rest and let all the information you just reviewed sink in. Not only will you be more focused and productive when studying, getting enough sleep will help relieve stress. Catch up on your zzz’s and aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

 Stay Calm

There’s no doubt that exam season is a stressful time! It’s natural to feel tense or nervous, but it’s important to not let these feelings overwhelm you and affect your studying abilities. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are now, and finishing exams is simply a new challenge to overcome. Be confident in your abilities—you’ve got this! If you would like help handling feelings of stress and anxiety, you can schedule an appointment with Student Counselling & Development (SCD).

Good luck on your final exams, Lions. I’m off to study!

What are your study strategies for final exams? Comment below or tweet us on Twitter at @YorkUStudents.

Shannon Hui
Shannon Hui

Shannon is a third-year student in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Program at York U. She is also an ice cream fanatic (especially for chocolate chip cookie dough), bookworm and stationery enthusiast, and she hopes York students enjoy reading her posts!

See other posts by Shannon Hui

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