How to Deal with Final Exams

Students » The Distillation Blog » How to Deal with Final Exams

Learn tips to lessen the stress and anxiety you feel during the final exam period.

No matter how much you study or how prepared you are for an exam, you may still feel stress during the exam period. Schedule some time around your studying to take a deep breath and relax. Learn how to curb your anxiety to avoid long-term health problems. Tips and more.

Make sure you take small breaks in between to stretch and physically move - self-care is important! Avoid surfing the web or checking social media as a break, since your eyes need a break from close focusing too. Find wellness events, study tips, and more to help you find your study groove.

Many unexpected things can happen on your way to an exam. Plan to arrive at your exam location at least 20-30 minutes early. A flat tire, a blocked route, a late bus – these can all delay you and increase your last-minute jitters. On Saturdays, buses may also not be as frequent. Remember, students will not be permitted entrance to the exam room 30 minutes after the exam start time.

You may think you would do better on the exam if only you had more time. That’s rarely the case – very few students do better writing the exam at a later date than they would have writing it at the scheduled time, especially if you have been struggling in the course. Studies show deferred exams are not to the student’s advantage.

If you are truly unable to write the exam, contact Science Advising as soon as possible. Get a medical note if you are sick, as documentation is expected if you need to apply for a deferred exam. An exam hardship happens when 3 final exams are scheduled within a 24-hour period. If that happens, notify your instructor immediately. Learn more.


Resources for Final Exams


Commuter Student Hostel

Planning to stay late to study but live off-campus? For $35/night you can stay in one of the rooms at Walter Gage Residences. Learn more

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Extended Hours

IBLC’s open study areas will be available for students to study 24 hours a day during the exam period. Learn more

Study Spaces: More Than Just Irving and Koerner

The main libraries at UBC are great places for studying, but they can get packed during exam period. Find your perfect study spot. Learn more


If you are have other questions about your final exams, talk to Science Advising Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4 pm. The advisors will be happy to answer your questions.