As I look around at my students – and I mean every student I have seen in the last week or so – I detect a notable loss in sparkle, a dwindling concern about grades, and a mounting anticipation of summer’s lazy haze. The problem is, you haven’t sealed the deal yet. You have just a few short weeks to go, and the way you choose to tackle these last few days of academic tug-of-war can make a meaningful impact on your future choices.
Tip #1: Remember that the entire world is built on a bell curve.
Just as you are starting to feel faint at the prospect of studying for finals, so is everyone else in your class. If you can stick it out to the end, you may be able to make a big difference in your final averages. Furthermore, you may also make a significant impact in your class rank; if people ahead of you slack (and they are very capable of doing so), you may be able to leap past them. One last push for final exams, and you may wind up in a way better position for college admissions in the future.
Tip #2: Recognize that studying hard for finals in high school prepares you for college.
At a university, you may only have two or three tests in a semester, and that means that every exam has the power to make or break your final grade. Whether you like it or not, you won’t have the cushion of sixty-five daily grades and fourteen quizzes to buffer the consequences of a blown final exam; you have to make every study opportunity count. Since final exams can have such an impact in college, you want to learn to study for them in high school!
We see countless students who have never really put for the effort to study for a comprehensive exam during high school. Unfortunately, those kids leave for college with zero preparation for tackling the enormous task of studying for university-level finals, and their first year grades often reflect that lack of readiness. Don’t be that guy. Study now, create good patterns, and ace college.
Tip #3: Believe that the information you’re studying for finals actually matters.
Guess what? You will see high school material again in college. Whether or not you think the Enlightenment matters, and regardless of how you feel about the anatomy of a human cell, you will probably revisit this information in college. That means that by studying for finals in high school, you are laying the foundation for succeeding later, when your grades will matter most.
It may seem impossible that anyone in college will care about comma rules or literary devices, but professors think that stuff is important. If you don’t learn it now, you’ll be studying doubly hard later. This is the time to get an edge.
Seriously, you’ve made it this far, so why not finish strong? Don’t let the whispers of summer’s promise lure you away from your studies. It’ll only be a few more weeks, and you’ll be there, free from the boring semester routine. So, for the last leg of this race, take a deep breath, envision greatness, and keep your eye on the prize.