A fundamental problem with finals week is volume – so many exams, so little time. You know the program. And while fairly simple time management techniques can help alleviate the finals crunch, it’s important to set priorities as well. If you want to achieve college success what should be your priority number one? Classes in your major.
Let’s say you’re faced with five approaching exams. You’ve got some tough classes in your major and a couple of those cushy electives like “Madonna: Her Life and Times.” You’re down to the wire, running out of study time, and have to make choices about where to focus your efforts. A natural reaction may be to work extra hard on the electives because you know you can make A’s if you put in the study time. You know the best you can expect in your major classes is a bunch of B’s.
Letting your major courses slide for the sake of A’s in your electives is probably a mistake. Yes, your overall GPA does matter, but your grades within your major matter much more, especially if you plan to pursue a career in the same field. Employers want to see signs that you’ll be successful in a job before they start writing pay checks. A public relations firm will be much more interested in your communications grades than how you did in “Soils of the South.” Avoiding a C in your major may pay off more than making an A in an elective that has nothing to do with your future career.
Of course you can avoid many of these tough priority choices by managing your study time like it is a precious resource through the entire semester. Making College Count is the best college success book out there and has some great techniques along those lines. But when nothing’s left but the finals, be sure to put your effort where your future lies.
Make finals your major advantage and your ticket to college success.