Having been through four years of finals (eight if you count high school) there are three main ways I have noticed that someone can take a final. Here are the three that I see on campus.
1) The procrastinator: This student does everything at absolutely the last minute. You see them in the library one hour before the test cramming. They are reading frantically, running around campus, and occasionally missing exams entirely. Yes, this has happened. These students sometimes stay up so late cramming, drinking coffee, and using the library until the latest possible time (2 a.m. for exam week and the week before).
2) The overly prepared student: This student barely studies. They float around exam week with a smile, sleeping in late and chatting with friends. They have studied for the entire semester, and done all of the homework ahead of time. There is no catching up or falling behind with this student. Their exam grades are perfect and they are often the first out of the exam because they know all the answers by heart.
3) The “average” student: This student has done most of their work for the semester. They go to the library to study for their exams, but it does not take very long, only a couple of hours. There are a few exams they feel a bit stressed for, and they are a bit frantic, but overall they maintain a positive attitude through the week.
Luckily for me, I fall into the second category. I have almost no work this finals week, and I am able to relax. What a great feeling!