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5 Tips on Taking Finals Well

Finals season can be a time of severe stress and anxiety for many students. ASI Communications Assistant Daniel Sunkari sat down with Dr. Judy Prince—a psychologist with CSULB Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)—to develop these five pieces of advice on taking finals well.

  1. Start now!
    One of the biggest mistakes students make is procrastinating and excusing themselves to work better “under pressure.” This is a formed habit with diminishing returns rather than an effective technique, so utilize finals season to try better study habits!
  2. Make your plan.
    Go through each class and make a detailed list of everything you need to do for each one. After that, create a schedule with the time that you have—down to the hour.
  3. Take care of yourself.
    Adequate self-care, a proper diet and sufficient sleep is critical. Although proper self-care tends to go wayside during finals, it pays off with good concentration, better focus and successful performances. Practice at least one hour of relaxation or free time each day, and take short breaks during long study sessions.
  4. Be your own coach.
    If you want to perform well on exams, you’ve got to start thinking like you can do it! Our thoughts directly influence our behavior. Take solace in knowing everyone’s in the same boat.
  5. It’s all worth it in the end.
    College is supposed to be hard and challenging—that’s why a degree has value. That’s why it feels so good when you get the grade or graduate—because of the work you put into it. Think about the end and what you want to get out of it—it’ll all be worth it!

Dr. Prince facilitates a 30 min. meditation group every Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the CAPS center. The program is meant to provide students with an opportunity to relax and refresh amidst the crazy time of year. CAPS helps students meet the personal challenges associated with identifying and accomplishing academic, career and life goals. Find out more by visiting