5 Foolproof Ways to Fail Finals Week

Aug 26, 2015 12:24:34 PM | student success 5 Foolproof Ways to Fail Finals Week

Do you identify with any of these common exam bad habits? Don't let them ruin your finals week!

5 Foolproof Ways to Fail Finals Week By Melissa Trujillo and Renee Long

Final exams can leave students with conflicted emotions. They signal the finish line of a class, but finals week is also a rigorous, sometimes stressful part of the student journey.

Finals week is nearly here at ACHS. Do you feel prepared?

We work with students every day and hear about the struggles and successes of preparing for end-of-semester finals.

Instead of offering you the typical “tips for success,” we thought we’d try something a little different…Keep reading and let us know­­—do you identify with any of these common exam habits?

Here are five ways that will surely set you up for a tough week of finals.

1. Pull an All-Nighter

Have you ever been tempted to stay up all night studying? This is a sure-fire route to mental and physical fatigue. And a terrible finals week. 

Research shows adults need at least seven hours of sleep to function properly.[1] You don’t want to be sleep deprived before your exam.

Have trouble falling asleep? Check out our blog on beating the zombie life and getting those much-needed Zzzz’s.

2. Stress Out, Overthink, and Worry

Want to make sure you bomb that exam section on balancing chemistry equations? Keep telling yourself that it’s super hard, difficult to memorize, and over your head.

You know stress has an impact on performance, so instead of worrying, stay calm during your exam. Remember to breathe.

If a section seems too difficult, go through all of the questions you feel confident answering and then return to the tough ones. 

This is also a great opportunity to use an aromatherapy blend. These are our go-to essential oils for supporting focus and calm:

  • rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis (L.)
  • clary sage Salvia sclarea (L.) 
  • grapefruit Citrus paradisi (Macfad.)
  • eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus (Labill.)

Looking for tips on how to create your perfect study blend? Check out this blog post: Blending 101: The Art of Pairing Essential Oils Drop by Drop.

5 Foolproof Ways to Fail Finals Week

3. Speed Through Your Finals

Taking your exam at top speed is a foolproof way to miss something important. Let’s face it—taking a test is not the most pleasurable experience in the world (most of us prefer lounging on the beach with a glass of herbal iced tea), so it’s tempting to rush through the questions, but this is a recipe for failure—or at least a lower score. 

Take your time. Read each question carefully. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, so try to enjoy experiencing how much you’ve learned over the semester as you answer each question. If you feel stuck on a question, move on and revisit it later, but don’t take a wild guess until you’re absolutely out of time.

If you finish before the allotted time, take a few minutes to review your answers. Did you answer your essay questions completely? But don’t second guess yourself! You know what they say, your first answer is usually the correct one!

Time is on your side. Use it to your advantage.

4. Don’t Review Your Previous Exams or Classwork

If you don’t utilize these helpful resources from class, you’ll be flying blind during finals week. Before your finals, set aside time to go through your previous tests (Module Exams for ACHS students). These will give you a good idea of the areas you might need to study up on.

If you review them early enough, you can even reach out to your instructor with questions.

You’ve already learned the material—now it’s just time for a refresher.

5. Don’t Review Previous Instructor Lectures

Your instructor is there to help you break down the information you’re learning in class. Their lectures are guaranteed to have material you’ll see on the final. 

Go back and review your notes (or the Discussion Boards in ACHS online classrooms) as a refresher. Again, if anything is unclear, feel free to reach out to your instructor for more guidance.

If you’re in an ACHS course, re-read the Module Learning Outcomes found at the beginning of each module. Pretend these are essay questions – do you understand and could you discuss each learning outcome? If any of them are confusing to you, review the corresponding chapters in your textbook. 

We know you’re not going to fail your finals week. But these common traps can cause students to stumble, and we want to make sure you’re prepared for success. Finals week is your opportunity to show off all the effort and hard work you put into your course. 


So don’t worry. Take your time. Breathe deep. Your ACHS team believes in you.

Back to School Tools for Wellness!

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: We are employees for American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are our own. This blog may contain affiliate links. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

[1] National Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need. Retrieved from http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need

Melissa Trujillo

Written By: Melissa Trujillo

Melissa is an Academic Advisor for ACHS and is currently working towards an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. She holds a Masters of Science in Management from Colorado Technical University as well as a Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty University. To say she supports higher education would be somewhat of an understatement. In her free time, Melissa enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family. She also enjoys sharing her passion for education with others.