Helping Your Student with Final Exams

donnieadjDionell McNeal, 22, a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communication. He works at the Center for Academic Success on campus as the Graduate Marketing Assistant Coordinator. His favorite quote, “What would you accomplish, if you knew you could not fail,” by Robert H. Schuller.

We are at the point in the semester when projects and papers are wrapping up and final exams are the focal point. Parents & family members often feel unable to help their students when they are in the throes of studying for finals. I imagine you can hear the stress level rising, but feel you can’t do anything about it. Below are a few tips I have for you that will be helpful for you and your student.

  • Be supportive and remind your student that although finals are important, it is equally important to take some of the pressure off so he/she can relax and better prepare. By adding 20 minutes of exercise a day students can relieve stress and improve memory.
  • Help your student achieve uninterrupted study time by limiting extra errands and phone calls. It is also best if students plan for three to five Intense Study Sessions a day. Each session is broken into segments: set a goal (1-2 minutes), study (30-50 minutes), take a break (5-10 minutes), review (5 minutes).
  • Send your student a ‘finals care package’ filled with healthy snacks like tea, fruit, and nuts. Sugary and highly caffeinated food or beverages have negative side effects on thinking and focus during tests.  (Well, you could include a gift certificate for some ice cream!)
  • Remind your student that LSU Student Government will be out and about on campus providing free scantrons and snacks.
  • Be sure to remind your student to utilize professors’ office hours to reduce any ambiguity there may be in regards to a final exam.
  • Remind your student as important as it is to properly prepare and study for final exams, it is also equally important to rest and get a sufficient amount of sleep per night.
  • The Center for Academic Success (CAS) has several videos on their website that you can share with your student. Two of the most popular videos for this time of year are: Managing Stress and Exam Preparation


We all hope your students will come home happy for the holidays, knowing that they ended the semester strong! As always, please have your student call the CAS at 225-578-2872 or visit our website for additional assistance. They have helped me learn how to prepare for my tests and not get so overwhelmed; I believe they can help your student too.


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