Surviving Finals Week

Surviving Finals Week

The Exams

Just like most academic-related activities here at CSU, sitting your final exams at the end of the semester is very different to what you are used to. The first thing you might notice is the weighting of the assessments. They may be a lot lower than what you expect as most final exams at CSU are weighted between 15-30% of your final grade.

This may be significantly smaller than what you are used to (yay!). Although it is important to remember that for most of your scholarships to be awarded you are required to achieve a minimum of a passing grade; however, 50% is not always a passing grade over here. It is imperative that you check your syllabus to ensure you know what you need to achieve in each assessment to successfully pass the subject.


Calendar for finals weekFinals week is held in the last week of the semester and most subjects, depending on what you are enrolled in, have a final exam. It is important that you do not book your departing flight before the end of finals week, as you can (and possibly will) have an exam on the last Friday of the semester. So in order to ensure that you are not stressed out, make sure you book your flight for the weekend following finals week! These can be very expensive and stressful to change!!

What to Bring to Your Exams 

  • Student ID Card 
  • Pencils 
  • Erasers
  • Calculator (if the exam permits the use of a calculator)
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Ruler 

The Morgan Library

The library is one of CSU’s best resources when it comes to finals week. Not only is it a great place to study but it also has study materials and coffee.  Note that library hours will longer during finals week. If you cant make it to the physical library (let’s be honest who actually checks out real books for a project?) the library website is an even more useful tool to find databases, journal entries, articles and books without ever having to leave your house.


The Basement

map of CSU library basement
Morgan Library Basement photo from Colorado State University

 If you like to study in complete silence head to the library basement. With no a no sound policy, private cubicles, and comfy chairs (hidden behind the shelves) this is also one of the best places to do some last minute cramming, take a nap, or start a Netflix binge. 





The Cube 

The study cube is the giant glass square attached to the front of the Morgan Library. It’s another quiet study location but also has the perk of being open 24/7 to those who have a student ID. This is a great place for those night owls and desperate people pulling all-night study sessions.

First Floor

CSU first floor map
Morgan Library First Floor Map from Colorado State University

Forgot your laptop? Need to print your final paper? Dying to grab a coffee?  You can solve all these problems on the first floor of the library. Containing a computer lab with both color and black and white printing, study rooms, and Morgans Grinde the first floor tends to come in clutch during finals week. It is also home to the  Reserve Desk where you can check more than just books and the Help Desk where the library staff can help you find the exact item you were looking for.

Items Available for Checkout:

  • Calculators
  • Laptops
  • Laptop Chargers
  • Video Equipment
  • Whiteboards and Pens

Morgans Grind 

Coffee is pretty much a necessity for finals week. Lucky for us heart mocha with notebook for studying in morgans grindethe Library has a coffee shop located inside. If you need enormous quantities of coffee or another snack to complete your studying, you should hang out in Morgans Grind. It also works as a great meeting place as almost everyone knows where it is so its a great place for group projects.

Second and Third Floors

CSU library Second floor Map
Morgan Library Second Floor Map from Colorado State University

These levels are great spaces to do group work. They have large tables, whiteboards and plenty of charging outlets. The atmosphere gets quieter as you go higher up and farther away from the central staircase. If you don’t need complete silence in order to sleep, check out the couches in the back corner of the third floor, they are very comfy.

CSU Library third floor map
Morgan Library Third Floor from Colorado State University





Study Rooms

Study rooms can be found through the library and are also located in many different buildings on campus. These are great for group projects where you need a lot of space and minimal distractions. They usually come with a TV hookup if you need to practice a presentation and a whiteboard for easy brainstorming. If you want to guarantee you have a room reserve it early!!!!! Study rooms fill up fast during finals week so you should get on the list at least a week in advance. You can reserve library study rooms online.

Study Room Locations

  • Morgan Library- Reservable
  • Behavioral Science Building-Reservable 
  • Dorm Buildings- first come first serve
  • Other Colledge Buildings ie Rockwell-first come first serve


Coffee Shops

After the library, the second most preferred place to study instudying in starbucks for csu final exams Fort Collins for CSU students is in a coffee shop. The atmosphere is pleasant, they are quiet, and plenty of caffeine is on hand. While Starbucks is definitely the most well known we would suggest trying a new option, especially during finals week. Starbucks is guaranteed to become overcrowded and loud due to such a high volume of people. Below are some other options if you need to study while you get your caffeine fix.


Tips for moving out and finishing your exchange!

The last few weeks of the semester can be very stressful, so make sure you plan ahead and set yourself small achievable goals in order to prevent unnecessary stress due to unforeseen circumstances. Another important thing to consider is that you have to have your entire room packed up and ready to go by the time you leave! This can be a very daunting thought as you are required to pack four months worth of stuff into your suitcases in order to go back home.

Moving BoxesOur advice is to start early! Ensure that you have enough bags/suitcases etc. so that you can take everything home. You should also double check with your airline regarding the cost and restrictions placed on how many bags one individual is allowed to take on both connecting and international flights. Another option that you might want to use if you cannot fit everything in your bags is to send your stuff home via freight instead.

If you have items such as bedding, pillows, and appliances (toasters, kettles, etc.) think about donating them to a charity or even to your roommates or friends who may want or need them. There are lots of thrift stores in Fort Collins that you can drop your items off at.

More importantly, you need to make sure that you visit the International Student and Scholar Services before you leave as you ARE REQUIRED to complete CSU’s Departure Form before leaving the university. This is a requirement for your student visa and you cannot leave the country until you have filled in this form as Federal regulations require CSU to notify the government of your departure from the United States. If you want to double check that you have met all the visa requirements for your stay in the U.S. you can double check our post about important immigration documents here. 

Finals Week Advice

Hopefully this goes without saying, but it is important to keep your health as a top priority. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and allowing yourself a positive outlet for stress. 

Professor and teaching assistants office hours are also a good tool to keep in mind – these are available all semester and usually recommended before this week as well. You could also print off the review sheet (if provided one) and bring that to have specific questions answered.

Don’t cram! Give yourself time to study and take breaks. If you need a place to study without distractions, reserve a study room in the library, as discussed in detail above, and do so in advance. They fill quickly! The key is to start planning sooner rather than later. 

Additional Information

  • Look for free Red Bull on campus if you need an energy boost
  • Double check the date, time, and location of your final – it may differ from class time
  • Know the bus schedules and plan accordingly (especially if you have a late test!)
  • On the side of precaution, don’t wear a hat! Some professors will not allow them.
  • Bring your CSU ID 
  • Utilize your RamCash for snacks, coffee, or pick-me-ups during studying
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