4 Essential Things You Need in Your Finals Study Space

By Madison White on April 19, 2017

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

Finals season is upon us. Is your study space ready to tackle the next few weeks?


A good study technique is best accompanied by a good study space. Now, what does a good study space entail? Overall, a good study space is a place that allows you to focus on the work at hand. Study spaces don’t necessarily have to be in your room or at your desk. Some people find good spaces in libraries and cafes as well. Get creative and try a few different places to see which works best for you!

However, there are a few essential things you will need for whichever study space you choose. Keep reading for four essential things to have in your study space for finals.

1. Headphones

You can’t study if you are not in the right sort of headspace. Many times, the disruption of your focus is caused by other noises: your neighbors who talk too loudly, a group of freshmen walking past. Perhaps the best way to prevent being distracted is by blocking out as many of these noises as possible.

Putting your headphones in and playing some good study music is definitely the best way to do this. If you don’t like listening to music while studying, you may want to invest in some noise cancelling headphones that can block out the sounds around you without playing music. When it comes to keeping your focus, headphones are an essential item to have in your study space whether that space is at home, in the library, or in a coffee shop somewhere.

2. A nearby outlet and chargers

We all like to believe that our laptops have a long battery life, but truthfully, they probably only last a few hours at best without needing to be plugged in. When it comes to finals week, your study sessions may unfortunately last for way more than a few hours.

You don’t want to have to move your entire study space after a few hours, right in the flow of your studying, just to plug everything in. It’s best to set up your study space next to an outlet beforehand so you don’t have that worry on your mind. You definitely don’t want to lose those tough to write essay pages because your laptop shut down! And don’t forget to bring the appropriate chargers too.

3. Your class notes and blank pages

In the age of the internet, we might think that we can find any and all the information we need at the hands of a quick Google search. What I’ve found, however, is that many professors teach a very specific curriculum that can’t be easily found, or searched, on the internet.

In this case, if you’re studying or writing or doing research for something, you may need to have a quick reference look at your notes to make sure you have the information right. When you’re studying, you definitely don’t want to be spending 20 minutes looking for your notebook, or worse, leaving it somewhere that you can’t get to it right away.

Whenever you’re working on a certain subject, be sure that those class notes are within reach. Also, make sure you have some blank pages to write on as scratch paper. Sometimes, all it takes to really sort out your thoughts is writing them down on paper and then figuring them out.

4. Snacks

Now, you don’t need to bring your entire refrigerator into your study space. In fact, that may cause more distraction than help. However, especially during the long study sessions, you’re going to need some fuel to keep going. I know that it is absolutely impossible for me to write, or do anything productive, when my stomach is growling at me.

To combat this, bring some snacks into your study space. Now, you’ll be tempted to gorge yourself on cookies and energy drinks to sugar-high yourself through the next few hours. Don’t do this. Instead, nourish yourself with foods that will actually improve your health and focus. Granola bars are always a great idea as are easy to eat fruits like grapes or strawberries. Plus, if you’re on campus, this helps deter you away from the overpriced candy bars sitting in the vending machines.

Not only does a well-planned and well equipped study space ensure a better mood for you, but hopefully it will be followed by high grades as well! While you can equip your space with all the bells and whistles for productivity, don’t forget that the most important thing to bring to your study space is a positive and motivated attitude. The work you put out will be much better if you’re working from a positive mindset. If this seems hard to do, just remember that in a few weeks you’ll be basking in the sunshine of summer!

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

My list of places traveled is growing but will never exceed my list of places to travel next.

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