It’s hard to believe, but finals week is just around the corner. This can seem a little daunting for college students with multiple exams at the same time, making it difficult to study and prioritize. If it’s your first time taking final exams in college, have no fear! With preparation and planning, you can finish the semester strong.

Here are some studying tips and strategies that can help you excel on exam day.

Get organized early and map out a schedule

Procrastinating causes unnecessary stress. Instead, plan ahead to ensure you don’t have to pull an all-nighter. Grab your syllabus for each class and write down the dates and times for each final. Break up your study time by dedicating a set number of hours each day to study for every class rather than trying to study for just one class all night.

Take advantage of review sessions and office hours

If your professor or teaching assistant offers a review session before the final exam, be sure to go. Review sessions are a great resource when studying for finals because you’ll learn more about the exam format and what topics you should be focusing on. Your professors might even give you sample questions or problems. Sample questions are an excellent way to test your current knowledge and figure out which areas you need to review.

To get some extra insight into your exams, take advantage of your professor’s office hours. Office hours will give you the opportunity to ask your professor more questions about the format and grading of the test to show that you’re focused and prepared. This is also the perfect opportunity to get clarification on topics you’re struggling with or to review any challenging sample questions together. Just be sure to not bombard them with too many questions when other students are coming to office hours too; instead, bring a focused list of questions so you can maximize your time together. 

Join or form study groups

Getting together a couple of times a week with some of your classmates could keep you motivated and help you better prepare for your finals. Make a plan with classmates to review the class material, share and compare notes and help each other with difficult concepts. If there’s an exam study guide, have one person focus on a different section and take turns teaching each other, or have the group participate in an open discussion.

Get a good night’s rest

Know when to stop studying. It’s tempting to stay up late, but you need the energy when it comes time to take the exam. You won’t be able to memorize or cram an entire semester’s worth of information in one night. Lack of sleep impairs your studying and test-taking abilities and can cause you to blank out during the test. Remember for every hour that you study, give yourself a 10−15 minute break to recharge. Ensure that you sleep well the night before test day so that you are well rested and focused.

Maximize your performance on exam day

Allow yourself plenty of time in the morning to get ready, eat breakfast and arrive early. If it’s an afternoon or evening class, remember to eat an hour or two before the exam — even if it’s just a hearty snack. Give yourself ample time to arrive so that you don’t feel rushed. If you’re the type of person who usually runs late, set your alarm a few minutes earlier or set two alarms if needed.

Be sure to double-check the location and time of the exam to avoid any mishaps. Before leaving your room, confirm that you have everything you need — pens, pencils or calculators if needed. Having adequate time to prep on exam day can help you relax and get ready with ease.

Watch the time and review your answers thoroughly

As you’re going through the exam, you might find yourself stuck on a problem, but don’t spend too much time on a particular question or section of the test. Pace yourself. You can always revisit the question once you go through the entire test. You want to avoid running out of time or leaving unanswered questions, so if there’s a particular problem that stumps you, keep note of it and then come back to it later. This will help maximize time during your test. Before turning in your exam, go back and review your answers to ensure you understood the directions and responded correctly.

Don’t let your final exams get the best of you. Plan ahead with a study schedule, break up your study time and make sure you have everything you need on test day. Remember to take regular breaks while you study to relieve stress and anxiety. Most of all, relax. And don’t forget, you got this!