For students who need extra study time, and those who just can’t get enough, Thanksgiving Break is a good chance to review materials in a more relaxing setting.

Studying for finals takes time and patience. Waiting until the week of finals to begin is a sure-fire recipe for disaster, not to mention stress.

Get a head start

Most of the time, your final exams are going to be comprehensive of all or most of the semester. This makes studying for the test nearly impossible to do in just a few days. Save yourself some undue stress by starting on it slowly. This will give you a chance to make a plan of attack for your study schedule.

Also use the time to determine what you need to study most when you get back to school, what you need to ask your instructor, or what concepts you might need to get help from a tutor or study group with. This will keep you ahead of the game.

Talk it up

If you’ve got relatives running around, you may feel somewhat distracted. Believe it or not, there might actually be a way to use them to your advantage! (And they may enjoy it, too.) Make flashcards that you can have a relative help you with. They don’t have to know a thing about the material, yet it can be a great way to study and spend time with them.

If you do have someone who’s interested in what you’re studying, take them up on their offer to chat about it. Your instinct ever since grade school may have been to answer “nothin'” when someone asks you what you’re learning in school.  But teaching and talking to others about a subject is an effective mastery tool. It couldn’t hurt–try it out!


The simplest task for you to tackle over break is to catch up on or review your readings. Keep a book, your ereader, or your notes with you for whenever you might have some down time. If your finals include writing a research paper, print out some of your research or save it to a mobile device to skim through and highlight. Jot down any notes for topics to research further when you get back to school.

For more hints on preparing for finals, review our “Test-taking Tips” articles.

Most importantly, find some time to relax. The most stressful time of the semester is coming up, and it will help immensely to come into it clear-headed and refreshed. Enjoy your holiday!

How do you keep up with classes over holiday breaks? Share your ideas below.