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Your March mentor tip: 5 ways to stay on track this semester

‘There are strategies out there to help you cope with the demands of finals,’ says mentor and undergraduate student Rima Oassey
March 21, 2019
By Rima Oassey and Lamia Siddiquee

Rima Oassey Rima Oassey: "Finding fun and creative ways to hang with friends and checking things off your to-do list is possible."

It may seem like the end of the semester is just around the corner, but there’s still time to get organized before final exams!

Staying on track can be difficult. Fortunately, there are strategies out there to help you cope with the demands of finals.

1. Know your deadlines

Mark down the exact date, time and location of your final exams, as well as any end-of-term assignments. You can even go a step further by ranking all your exams and assignments by their importance.

Take into consideration how much each component is worth and plan accordingly. It may be more important to study for an exam that is worth 50 per cent of your final grade than for an assignment that is worth 15 per cent.

2. Plan your day

End of semester planners and weekly schedule planners (available at the Student Success Centre) are an excellent way to help you manage your time. Use the weekly schedule planner to organize each hour of your day.

Block off the time taken up by class, work and other engagements, and use the remaining part of your day to organize a study schedule. Don’t forget to include time for leisure activities and breaks!

If it’s too difficult to make a schedule in advance for an entire week, take it one day at a time. Plan your schedule at night before going to bed, or before leaving home.

Set simple goals for each day, and allocate time for each of these goals. Stick to your schedule and reward yourself once you hit each target.

When you make a schedule, try to reserve the last day before the exam to review the entire syllabus and make any necessary revisions.

3. Keep things tidy

A cluttered workplace can lead to a cluttered mind. Keep yours free of unnecessary items. Set aside books, notes or any other materials you are not currently working with. This will make for a more comfortable study session and help you focus on the material you are reading at that moment.

Notes and other papers can really pile up over a semester. Try keeping your study materials grouped according to the courses they belong to. This will help when you need to search for a particular item. Organize them into indexed folders, and label them clearly so that they are easy to read at a glance. The same can be done with electronic documents.

4. Include fun and sleep in your schedule

It may be tempting to throw your entire social life out the window when the end of the semester rolls around, but you will probably feel much better if you plan something to look forward to each week. Finding fun and creative ways to hang with friends and checking things off your to-do list is possible.

Can’t seem to find the time to do all of the above? Try combining them! Invite friends over so you can cook and prepare your meals for the week together while catching up at the same time!

Getting a full night’s sleep is also essential for your health, and helps you feel refreshed and ready to tackle final exams and assignments. Health Services has online resources for healthy living, including helpful information on the importance of sleep.

Whether it’s a party, dinner with friends or even a relaxing night in with an early bedtime, getting the chance to unwind can make all the difference!

5. Maintain a positive attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude is way easier said than done. But one thing I’ve learned as a psychology student is that self-fulfilling prophecies are real.

Remaining optimistic and believing in your abilities can truly do wonders. Remember that university is a learning process, and it’s okay to make mistakes! If anything, mistakes are an opportunity for improvement.


Find out more about Concordia’s Student Success Centre.

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