5 tips for coming out of 'Dead Week' alive
Get ready for finals with a game plan. Source: Shutterstock.

It’s here again – the dreaded week before schools’ finals in the US of A.

Term papers are due, there’s barely any time left to catch up on your notes, and to top it all off, some schools are still making students submit new assignments.

How does a mere mortal survive this? Read on for our five life-saving tips to get through this week (and finals!) alive:

1. Strategise


Check your exam timetable and plan your study sessions to allow the maximum retention of memory for each particular test. Know which class you have most trouble with and zoom in on the trouble areas ASAP. For the papers due, memorise the due date so you can allocate enough time to print and sprint (to the place you should be submitting it).

2. Get creative

Rote learning will get you nowhere, not even if you had started revising months ago or now, with less than a week to go. Instead, try other creative methods – they have been proven to work much better than just memorising.

If you’re a visual person, use mind maps – put in as many visual cues as possible. Another way is to record yourself teaching another person or even to yourself in the mirror. Short audio clips will stay in your mind better and longer. Google and TED Talk can help, too!

3. Beat the stress

Person: Hey, what’s up?

Me: My stress levels


With so much to do in so little time, there’s just too much stress to handle. But there’s no point worrying yourself to an unnecessary frenzy. Read the aforementioned Tip #1 and #2 again. Take a deep breath and start taking control of this week. Join your campus’ annual tradition of coping with Dead Week, if screaming or running naked is your thing (and approved by your school). Or look at one or two cute cat videos. Then, get back into the game. You can do this.

4. Eat and drink right

With the all-nighters, you’re dead tired and not getting enough sleep. It’s tempting to resort to caffeine tablets and prescription amphetamines to stimulate your brain juices. This is not recommended and if it’s your first time taking it, the side effects will throw you off balance. Worse, it will make you forget all the things you already studied (trust us, we got our sources right on this).

Stick to coffee (in moderate amounts) and eating healthy food to sustain you this week. Let your body’s natural adrenaline do the rest.

5. Distractions, begone!


With our screen-obsessed culture, we get attacked by distraction from everywhere – social media, ads, YouTube, cute cat videos, etc. Unless your paper is online and its Distracting Effects on College Students on Pre-Finals Week, these won’t be helping in your prep for finals.

Lock your phone somewhere safe and away from you. Install a software like Cold Turkey to ban you from social media during your study time. Focus, don’t procrastinate and you’ll be ready to take on that finals.

Good luck!

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