Coaches Can Help Students Triage Finals Prep

It's Never Too Late to Improve

Coaches working with students approaching finals time generally find they range from the overpreparing anxiety-ridden student all the way to the completely unprepared student and every stage in between. As coaching teaches, meeting a student where they are will allow a coach to support a student's authentic, productive discovery of where they want to go. This means there is no one best way to work with a student approaching finals. 


However, there are questions that a coach can ask in any situation to help reveal the current situation and help the student design actions that reflect it. Many of these are in the realm of triage -- in other words, helping the student define the choices and goals that have the highest value in this moment, and decide which are most important to act on. Those triage decisions may or may not reflect the desires of professors -- but when there is only so much time left, a student may realize that spending a week on a paper worth 40% of their grade is more important than catching up on five discussion posts that are worth 10%.


Put questions like these in your back pocket when coaching students as they move toward finals:


  • What do you have to do for [course] and how much time will it take? When can you find that time in your schedule?

  • What are your most important papers/projects/exams in the next two weeks? Looking at your available time, how can you map out when you will complete these?

  • In each course, which is the most important task to complete, and how do you plan to do it?

  • If you had to leave out one task, what would it be, and why?

  • If you don't have enough time for everything, what are your must-do's? 

  • If you feel you don't have time to do a paper or project to your expectations, how can you be open to possibilities between perfection and non-completion? What version of "good enough" can you execute, and how?

  • Which course needs your attention most to get the result you want?

  • What task are you struggling to get motivated to do that really isn't worth your time at this point? And if you can let it go, how would that help you get higher priority tasks handled?


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