High school vs. college finals + tips to ace your final

Andrew Riley, Sports Editor


It is nearing the end of the semester and that means finals. In high school, finals are not as stressful, but as learning reaches a higher college level, stress levels can follow.

Many students, such as myself, participate in concurrent enrollment to receive college credits before they graduate. College finals are a lot different from high school finals. One of the major differences is that the teachers and professors will prepare their students differently. In high school many teachers will hand out study guides so their students know exactly what to study for, however, in college professors do not always do this. They may give you a general idea of what the test will be over, but will not give an exact list of what to know. I believe that the reasoning behind this lies in the expectation for those who go on to college. Most college professors believe that if a student is making the effort to get a higher education, they are will to make the effort to try harder and study longer for quizzes and exams.

Another difference is the testing times. Typically, there is very little modification to high school schedules for finals testing. College schedules are not done in this way. Sometimes finals will take place at the same time class normally was, but other times the final is at a completely different time. One example of this is that a class that starts at 6:30 p.m. could have its final at 8:00 a.m., the earliest time for a final or class to start.

One of the last major differences is how much these finals can actually mean towards a grade point average. In high school, tests usually are worth 10 percent of our final grade. In college tests can be worth 20 and 30 percent, sometimes even more depending on the instructor and how many grades they put in. In some classes bombing the final can mean failing the class even if it does not drop the grade that far. These finals are known as pass/fail finals.

Finals may seem stressful, but there are several tips that can be used to obtain the best chance at passing.

The first tip is to use anything an instructor gives out. Almost 100 percent of the time if the teacher of that class gives you something saying it will be on the test, it is going to be on the test.

The next tip is to take time to prepare, but do not cram. Cramming for a test is not the ideal situation for studying and does not always work, but studying some days and the night before as well as reviewing the material before the test does wonders for test scores.

Another tip is more for tests early in the morning. Taking a test just after waking is not a good idea so waking up a little earlier to shake off the morning drowsiness can help a lot.

The last tip is to not stress. One of the keys to not stressing is to take all the time needed to prepare for the test. Passing a final is very achievable and taking all the time needed to be prepared and not stress over it can make scores rise from barely scraping by to making an A.