School Professors Chime in with Tips to Successfully Navigate Through Finals Week
Nearing the end of the semester for many university students is usually accompanied by many challenging prospects and difficulties juggling a multiplicity of academic tasks that need to be attended to. For this reason, we asked several members of our valued School of Business faculty about their personal advice on how students can create a more smooth-sailing experience for themselves during finals week.
Tip One: Do your best and work hard
Academic success does not come easy. Business students must uphold excellence in everything they do, which entails studying and working our hardest to achieve our academic goals.
“Don’t lose your concentration. It’s time to make all your hard work pay off,” emphasized Moataz El Helaly, assistant professor of accounting. Furthermore, Hamed Shamma, associate professor of marketing and BP endowed chair, also highlighted the same principle stating: “One should aim to be the highest and give their 100 percent effort and beyond. Work exceedingly hard and make it happen.”
Tip two: Create a study plan and manage your time to minimize stress
Organization is key to staying on top of our studies and motivates us to get things done, in addition, creating study plans helps alleviate a lot of stress going into finals week.
This was illustrated by several of the School’s professors, for example, Ahmed Abdel Meguid, associate professor of accounting, contended that “if your target is getting an A, don’t stress out, do your best and line up a study plan to avoid cramming.”
Additionally, Ahmed Tolba, chair and, associate professor stated: “My advice is for students to relax by planning how they will organize their work ahead of time.”
Tip three: Allocate enough time for your physical rest
Making sure that you are well-rested and are taking proper breaks enables you to be at peak performance whilst taking your final semester assessments. Therefore, it is necessary for students to recharge and take care of their bodily health. “It is important to sleep well before taking an exam,” stated Abdel Meguid.
“Remember to manage your time effectively and allocate enough time for your physical rest in order to have optimum performance,” highlighted Khaled Dahawy, associate professor of accounting.
Tip four: Know what to expect
For students, having a clear idea of what is expected of them or what they are expected to acquire in terms of knowledge to be ready for final assessments and submissions is essential in helping relieve much of the stress associated with finals week.
Sherwat Elwan, associate professor and director of MBA and Executive MBA programs, elaborated on this matter by stating: “Students should connect personally with professors to communicate clearly with them about final exam or project expectations.” She continued: “In my experience, the vagueness of deliverable requirements is the main cause of anxiety for students during this time.”
Tip five: Consider practical applications of course topics
A helpful tool to allow for better knowledge retention is to think about how one would enact their theoretical knowledge practically. Mohga Badran, associate professor, Department of Management, stated: “For each topic in a course, students need to try and think how it can be applied practically and how each of the topics is related to other ones in the same course.” She further elaborated: “In this way, students will have a whole picture of the course and its practical application in mind.”
Tip six: Cherish present achievements
In order to be mentally prepared for final examinations, it is best to be content with one’s current achievements or progress and avoid setting false future expectations, but rather stay focused on the present. Nellie El Enany, associate professor of management, aligns with this viewpoint. “The future self we imagine may not eventually make us fulfilled. Alternatively, being in the 'present' is much healthier for us,” contended El Enany. She further added: “It is important to avoid the positivity bias about things that may never happen, and which may never make us happy like we imagine they may, is the best way to rewire the brain to think.”
Tip 7: Have an internal drive to learn
The process of learning should be motivated by an internal willingness and enthusiasm to learn and become a more well-rounded individual rather than the extrinsic motivation related to getting good grades. Assistant Professor of Finance Wael Abdallah, touched on this stating: "The way to reach success is through the intrinsic motivation of a person, which is the drive that keeps them going even in times of hardships".
In summary, students must exert the maximum possible effort they can and effectively manage their time as well as their mental or physical well-being in the process. You must also make sure that you properly understand what is expected from you in final exams or submissions. Furthermore, you should consider real-life applications of acquired concepts to enhance the learning process. Lastly, continuously focus on being content with your current progress and strive to be motivated by a desire to learn rather than being motivated by grades. And as the final words by Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Management Randa El Bedawy go: “Don’t just study hard, study smart, and don’t stress!”