Studying for Finals: Strategies of Successful Students


Nate Lentz

Students complete classwork in an AP Statistics class.

Although the school year is coming to an end, the beginning of finals season is just around the corner. Students will be taking in-class finals, Regents, AP Exams, SAT Subject Tests, as well as other exams all within a span of two months. With these dates quickly approaching, many Bronx Science students will be studying more than ever before, especially during the days leading up to these exams. Though most students study only a few days prior to the exam, it is recommended that students start studying at least a week in advance to guarantee a desired score. This will allow students to review a year’s worth of material without needing to worry about cramming the night before the exam.

There’s a variety of resources provided by the school that students can utilize for studying. For instance, teachers encourage students to attend SGI during after school hours and NHS tutors are usually available to tutor underclassmen in subjects they may need extra help with. The school library also has many prep books that are extremely useful for preparing for the APs such as the Barron’s and 5 Steps to a 5 prep books.

Additionally, many students utilize online resources including, but not limited to, Duolingo, Quizlet, and Khan Academy. “I used websites like Quizlet to make flashcards and study flashcards students had made in the past. Using different colored pens and highlighters also made studying more fun for me because I got to use my creative energy while studying,” said Sadeyah Bhuiyan ’20, who will be taking three AP exams: English Language and Composition, Psychology, and U.S. History.

“Using different colored pens and highlighters also made studying more fun for me because I got to use my creative energy while studying,” said Sadeyah Bhuiyan ’20.

Despite the variety of resources available, studying is very difficult without a source of motivation. A great way to motivate oneself is to watch “Study With Me” videos on YouTube. The content creators will often annotate a textbook, create mind maps, and/or put together a neatly handwritten study guide. With the aesthetic visuals, calming music, and highly motivating narration, these videos effectively encourage its viewers to study along.

Kaitlyn Romanger
Kin Yang ’20 takes notes on the history of Chinese cuisine and traditional art forms in his A.P. Chinese Language class.

On the other hand, students like Kin Yang ’20, prefer studying by reviewing textbooks and rewriting notes. “I feel that using physical books help me concentrate better than online practice, and I make sure to silence my phone,” said Yang. “For A.P. Environmental Science, I simplified the main ideas by drawing out diagrams and making flash cards, while for A.P. European History, I tried to read the history as if it was a story line and tried to make connections,” he explained. Different methods of studying depends on the preferred way of learning, as Bhuiyan prefers visual and auditory demonstrations of studying and Yang prefers reviewing the curriculum as he learned it in class.

Whether you’re someone who prefers studying one way over anotheror not studying at allbe sure to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and eat a well-balanced breakfast the day of the test. “If you’re going to sleep before the test, sleep in ninety minute increments so that you have enough time to complete an entire sleep cycle with REM to make sure you remember everything,” suggested Nathan Auyeung ’19.

Remember to keep a cool head when going into the test room, and good luck!