Secrets to Surviving Finals


Hanna Lemley '25

Ms. Cissel, GC Science teacher and GC student Evan Cooley ‘22

School is almost over, but there’s one last obstacle: FINALS! We may have gotten off easy with midterms but not with finals. Never taken a final? Unsure how to start studying? I interviewed some of our teachers and fellow falcons for tips and advice on how to prepare! 


Here is a compilation of advice and tricks for studying for finals, or any test from your fellow students:


How do you study the night before finals? Do you have any tips for freshmen? 


Ryan Bykowski (9th grade): “I never took a final before, or midterm, (laughing). I’d pray…and make a quizlet.”


Evan Cooley (12th grade): “I set up a day to review study guides and remove any distractions from the room. 

(Do you have any extra tips or tricks?) “Best tip I can give is when you’re struggling with stuff, read it multiple times because repetition helps you remember.”

Studying with a group or asking for extra help is always a good idea. (Hanna Lemley ’25)

Ang Bezos (10th grade): “I review information and then if necessary I cram the night before. I have ADHD, so I have people around me when I study or music playing in the background or something to play with to comfort me. Otherwise, I can’t study.”


Dillon Remy (10th grade): “Use examples, look at the material. Work through example problems the teacher gives you because when you work through something you remember it easier than just memorizing it. It’s not the end of the world. If you have the grade you want, then there’s a decent amount of room to make mistakes.”


My colleague and I went out in search of the ever elusive 11th graders. We found some outside the chapel, as well as a large group of football players, but all replied in the same fashion: “We don’t study.” What could this mean???


We asked sports players their study habits, since they can be very busy.


Nigel Loney, (9th grade; Basketball): “ I get a good night’s sleep and review my notes. I study for about 2 hours.”


Karina Abbundi, (10th grade; Soccer, Basketball, Outdoor Track): 

(How do you study, since sports take up a LOT of your time?) “Definitely use up your free time during school. Flex time, free time during your classes, lunch. I make my own study guides, quizlets. I like writing stuff down because that helps me remember.”


Then, we asked teachers for their advice.


Ms. Cissell (Forensics and Biology): “I’m a flashcard human [person], so I make review cards with vocab on one side and explanations on the other side. I’d say to start early. I know that many teachers have review sessions, so I would suggest going to teachers and asking for help with anything that’s confusing.”


Mrs. Boyle (Library): “Make sure you have every resource from your teachers. Go through them, so that by the night before finals they can just be a review. Take advantage of silent study, NHS tutoring… and it doesn’t have to be full tutoring—somebody can just help quiz you. And of course, you can use the library to study. 


Mr. Perfetto (Math): “First step, complete the study guides. Go through it once, and answer anything you can. 2nd step, circle stuff you struggled with. Look through your notes for it and find the answers. Third step, recomplete the study guide all the way through.” 

(Tips for freshmen for focusing?) “My tip would be practice how you play. Complete study guides at a desk, not on your bed, not in a random place. Do them like you would be taking the test—print them out on paper, and work on paper—because the final is gonna be on paper. Try to get three good nights of studying in, and sleep is key. Don’t do all nighters. For freshmen…actually study. Just do it.” 

Mr. Zavislan, GC Religion teacher (Hannah Lemley ’25)

Mr. Zavislan (Religion): “I studied daily. Always keep up with day-to-day studying. When finals come, look over old tests to double check how questions are asked. By the time finals come, you will already have the information in your head. My tips for freshmen…don’t worry. It’s just a test. Your teachers have prepared you. Even if you get a zero, you’re still probably gonna pass. Trust yourself and what got you to this point. Do not turn finals into a monster that they’re not.”


To all Falcons who have to take a final….GOOD LUCK…YOU CAN DO THIS!!!