The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

The student newspaper of Vernon Hills High School

The Scratching Post

Students prepare early for finals week

Get advice from your peers.

The countless times you stayed up past midnight at your desk. The various textbooks you flipped through at the library. The numerous nights you spent reloading powerschool on your phone. All these moments can describe one time of year: finals week. 

The end of a semester usually includes final exams for a lot of the student body. However, remembering a semester’s worth of material is a feat. With exams approaching in December, what can students do starting October?

Organization is Key 

Neha Kulkarni (11), has learned study strategies in her past two years at VHHS, especially from taking AP World History with Eileen Baranyk freshman year. 

“I went over all the notes that Mrs. Baranyk gave us and reviewed my digital notebook. She had  a lot of great resources to use,“ Kulkarni said. 

Rani Sethuraman (10) also has learned techniques to be successful during finals week, while also advising her peers to be organized to avoid stress. 

“I would make a plan everyday of what I was supposed to do,” Sethuraman said, “Plan out what you want to study, because if you wait until the last minute, it will be stressful.” 

In addition to planning, Kamryn Barberis (12), also advises students to first study what they don’t know well, and then review everything else.

Use your Resources 

Sethuraman also talked about the importance of utilizing your resources. In fact, she felt better about her previous finals due to the extra practice that was given by her teacher. 

Additionally, she specifically advised students to take advantage of review sessions that their teachers hold. 

“If there are any review sessions with your teacher, you should definitely attend them,” Sethuraman said. 

Julia Rausa (10), echoed these sentiments. 

“Teachers are willing to help you, so go to those review sessions. You can also work with your friends there,” Rausa said. 

Edward Zhao (12) also found that resources online were great tools to study with. Some resources include Fiveable, Khan Academy, Youtube, and AP Classroom. 

“I would go online and find some youtube videos,” Zhao said. 

Moreover, the ARC (Academic Resource Center) on the second floor has peer tutors who can help you with questions about the courses you are taking. 

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone is willing to help you,” Rausa said. 

Start now: 

Though it is only October, some students strongly urge peers to start using strategies now. 

Kulkarni talked about how she prepares for finals during regular unit tests. 

“I organize everything well, so I know I can access it [notes] when I need it. Every time we have a unit test, I make one comprehensive study guide for myself, so that for finals I just have to look over those,” Kulkarni said.   

In her class currently, Rausa is still learning material in the course. 

“Right now, I am trying to learn the material as best as I can,” she said.  

Furthermore, Rausa talked about the importance of starting to study not just the day before. 

“I started studying earlier because then I had time to ask questions,”  Rausa said. 

Beatriz Gatmaitan (12) said it is impossible to fully understand the content if you start too late. 

Gatmaitan said, “Start studying earlier, so you can manage your time wisely, because if you procrastinate, you will only have time to memorize and not understand the content.”