It has been a number of years since I finished undergraduate and graduateschool. And, even longer since high school; however, I do believe that I amqualified to give some advice on surviving semester exams. For those students around the country and here on campus, I offer this practical advice on managing your week. Note: I still use advice # 1, 2, and 5.



  1. Do not go to sleep until you have gone at lest three straight nights without any sleep. Only real students can pass this endurance stage. Forget everything your parents taught you about a good night sleep before finals.
  2. Eat healthy. A true final’s diet consist of Mountain Dew, pizza, and coffee.
  3. Borrow notes from the smartest kid in the class.
  4. If you have to study math, history, English, and science for the final, take this advice: ignore math – if you do not know it by now, you are not going to learn it in 24 hours. Ask the countless people in society who took calculus and still cannot balance their check book. Always mark this as your answer for English, “he wrote this piece due to his inner conflict with himself.” If you are taking a history exam, just write down the Treaty of Paris. Better yet, talk about the rise of class conflict and its inability to resolve racial and/or economic problems. Be sure to use Karl Marx’s name. As for science, list all of the terms you memorized from the typical bold print column in your textbook.
  5. Study in a tent (did it once, it was awesome). Best grades ever!
  6. Spend the week building up this incredible vocabulary to use on the exam. At worst, you can later argue that your instructor missed the concepts you developed in your essay. Or, if you are lucky, your instructor will assume that you know it before he/she stops reading.
  7. Write too much. Maybe your instructor will again assume you know it.
  8. Take your teacher out for lunch; I would only do this after you take the final and have clearly failed it.
  9. Fake a nervous breakdown. This will require medical leave. Think, two more weeks to study a semester worth of material you never learned.
  10. As a buddy of mine did, go to the movies every night during finals week. According to him, there is nothing wrong with a 1.5 GPA.
  11. Some schools have a policy that will allow you to exempt all finals and receive a grade of an (A) if your best friend dies. There are books on how to fake this. I would save this as your absolute last resort.
  12. If all fails, tell your instructor how much you enjoyed his or her class, even when you were reading the news paper during a lecture.
  13. If you have to take calculus, chemistry, and physics on the same day, refer back to advice number 9.
  14. If you leave campus thinking that all of your exams were very easy, you most likely failed them.