So you want an ‘A’ on your final?

Joe Pelletier

Finals time. You can smell it, can’t you? It’s a beautiful bouquet of coffee, AMP and sleep deprivation.

I’d like to tell you that after seven semesters of finals, I figured out the secret. Alas, I cannot. I’m still as sleep-deprived as everyone else.

The bad news is that if you really wanted an ‘A’ on your final, you needed to start working at it the first day of classes. That, I have learned, is the only way to guarantee an exceptional grade; consistent studying, a proactive approach, and taking that extra time with your professor. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to do that with every single class.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there is hope yet. You can still get that satisfying grade. But you have to employ some unorthodox methods.

It starts with instrumental music. Download as much classical, non-lyric music as you can, and make a playlist. I highly recommend “Canon” (by Zox, if you’re looking for a contemporary twist).

Instrumental music is the perfect mix of helping you focus without being distracted by lyrics.

Read. We all feel like we have to start writing that paper or building a study guide. Don’t. Take two hours, and just read everything that applies to the final exam/final paper topic. Figure out what’s important before you lose your mind.

The last one might surprise you.

STRESS OUT! Don’t trick yourself into thinking it’s all going to be OK. It’s not. You have a ton of work to do, and not much time to do it. You should be going insane.

Accept it. Finals are really hard. They’re really hard for everybody. But tune into some Bach, read your textbook, and get started right now, and you’ll survive. Probably.