Over the past semester, all of my classmates and I have gone over pages of theory on animal disorders, we’ve been tested every week, and we’ve studied for hours. Finally, the time has come for us to put our knowledge to the test. Finals.
Finals mean stress, it means panic, and it means sleepless nights. Here are a few tips that I live by in order to survive finals.
- Don’t panic. You will be tested on all information that you already learned. This information is in your head somewhere, you just need to dig it out. You’ve sat through hours of classes. You’ve done general physical exams, putting your theoretical knowledge into practice. The information is there, you just need to refresh it.
- Leave room for procrastination. In my experience, procrastination is just part of the ritual of studying. There is, ultimately, no way of avoiding it. So plan for it. Start studying early so that if you take breaks, or sit at your desk for an hour before even opening your books, you still have time to absorb all of the information.
- Use your agenda to plan your study times. Not only do you need to make room for your procrastination, write it down on your agenda when you will need to start studying for each subject so you know exactly when to start procrastinating. It will also help you visualize what needs to be done.
- Flashcards. Chances are, if you are like me, you have already done multiple exams for each class. This means that you have an understanding of how your teacher asks questions, so make flashcards with questions similar to what your teacher might ask. Make lots of them, because by just asking yourself these questions and writing them down on flashcards you are already covering the bulk of your studying.
- Your classmates are your support system, use ’em. If your vet program is anything like mine, it consists of small classes where close-knit friendships are made. These friends know exactly what you are going through. You can bounce questions off of them or even just complain to them. Hearing that your other friends are studying or that they are struggling along with you will help you motivate yourself.
Animal health programs are hard. We are tested on everything. There is so much to learn, about theory, different species, anatomy, examinations, lab work. But we need to be tested because one day we will be responsible for the lives of animals. Their fates, and whether they get sicker or better, rest in our hands. Therefore, it makes sense that we are tested this harshly. Go forth to your final exams and crush it because all this knowledge that we are tested on, we are going to need to bring with us as we enter the workforce.