By Anya Zentmeyer and Austin Metz | 12/2/12 5:19pm

‘Tis the season when students on college campuses nationwide snap into survival mode and start guzzling caffeine, hitting the books and reconciling with sleeplessness. But with exams upon us at Grand Valley State University, it doesn’t have to be that way. It might be too late to take back all of those mornings you overslept, it’s not too late to knock final exams out of the park. And though exam crams and all-nighters seem tempting at this time of year, studying smarter (not harder) can not only improve your chances of an A, but also let you end the semester with your sanity in tact.

It’s a jungle out there, GVSU. So here are some tips to help you survive.


Find a study buddy:

You know that person you sit next to in class who you only talk to when you forgot to do the reading and you need someone to tell you what it was about? Coordinate a study session with them. You’ll be able to trade perspective on the material, and hold eachother accountable for working hard, not hardly working. Plus, having someone who can quiz you on the material helps you lock the information down.

No last minute exam crams:

How often do you hear about students pulling an all-nighter the night before an exam? Studies have shown this can actually hurt your test taking abilities because by crippling your concentration and alertness. Instead, take 30 minutes to an hour per day in the week leading up to the exam and learn the material that way.

Find a quiet place to study:

This could be your bedroom, the library, or the local coffee shop – but make sure you find a place where you are comfortable able to concentrate and focus. Zumberge Library on the Allendale Campus has extended hours for exam cram from Dec. 2-12, and there are plenty of other quiet places to post up in this exam season.



1) Zumberge Library – (616) 331-3500
Monday-Thursday: 24 hours
Friday & Saturday: noon-2 a.m.
Sunday: 10-2 a.m.

2) Seidman House – (616) 331-2749

Grand Rapids:

1) Steelcase Library – (616) 331-6799

2) Frey Foundation Learning Center – (616) 331-5930



Biggby Coffee

Location: 4814 Lake Michigan Drive
Hours: Monday-Saturday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Urgo Coffee in the Village @ 48west

Location: 10897 48th Ave # A100
Hours: Monday-Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Grand Rapids:

Common Ground Coffee House

Location: 1319 Fulton Street E.
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Location: 98 Monroe Center Street NW
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Closed on Sunday

The Bitter End Coffee House

Location: 752 Fulton Street W.
Hours: 24/7 (JACKPOT)


iStudiez Pro ($2.99)

Though there is a lite version available, the iStudiez Pro app lets you edit your class schedule, add/organize assignments by individual appointment and keep track of your grades

WolframAlpha ($1.99)

This app is smarter (and more credible) than Wikipedia, offering speedy results for quick questions through a wide range of database queries covering subjects from mathematics, to physics, chemistry, earth sciences, linguistics and more.

Any.DO (Free)

Need help task managing? Any.Do for the iPhone allows users to create tasks for today, tomorrow, this week or later on. Set individual priorities and reminders for each task you create, and when you’re finished, just swipe right to mark it done – how gratifying is that?

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