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4 Ways to Find Salvation from the Fiery Depths of Finals Hell


Despite your best efforts to keep finals away with a fevered Spotify playlist-making and random bursts of cleaning because you were “just feeling productive,” the 2016 spring semester, like its great ansemesters, is coming to a close.  Unfortunately, you couldn’t fool the clock as it continues to counts down to Judgment Day, where depending on your theological views, one of two things may occur: 1.) A benevolent, all-powerful professor will forgive you for your past transgressions. Or 2.) A vengeful, yet all-powerful professor will punish you with a grade that will cause serious repercussions to your GPA.


Thankfully, college functions much like the Catholic Church of Yore and instead of calling them “indulgences,” we call them “finals,” and they are your last-ditch effort to salvage your grade. The Black Sheep has some surefire ways to make sure you stay out of GPA Hell, or, at the very least, GPA Limbo.


4.) Put the Soundtrack to Top Gun on Repeat While Studying:

Recent studies have confirmed what prominent 80s Wall Street bankers have known for years – playing the Top Gun soundtrack while doing something makes you much better at it. Researchers at the University of Miami played Top Gun over dorm loudspeakers very quietly for a semester and found that the students became adept at volleyball, adopted one-word nicknames that they referred to as “wicked sweet,” (examples include “Shep,” “Volt,” and “Beer”) and ascended to the top of their respective fields.


Though side-effects included a very a rivalry with Val Kilmer and using too much tongue while kissing, the results speak for themselves. Next time you sit down to study, pump the dulcet tunes of “Danger Zone” through your headphones and see your test scores improve dramatically, hopefully leading you to graduate near the top of your class.



3.) Create a PowerPoint with all the Answers and Project it During the Class:

Many students have tried creative ways of bringing cheat sheets with them to class, from writing them on the inside of water bottle labels to even creating giant stamps with all the answers and stamping them on their exam. However, the most foolproof way to bring in the answers is to make an extensive PowerPoint and project it on the front board.


Though your professor might see the bright light of the projector and wonder what’s happening, if you tell your professor to not turn around, two times out of ten they won’t! So, you and your classmates have an effective way of ensuring you all will do well on the test!



2.) Stall for Time by Asking Your Professors Trivia Questions About Van Halen:

It’s common knowledge that the Council of Professors meets every five years to determine what pop culture item all professors should become experts in to “round out” their academic learning. Though the film Independence Day won the ballots in both 2005 and 2010, the two-term limit for topics was met, and so Van Halen narrowly beat out both Drake lyrics and the TV show Cheers in a hotly-contested election.


Professors are contractually obligated to answer questions over the agreed-upon topic, so to extend the time limit on your final, ask some open-worded questions about the seminal 80s hard-rock band’s career, such as “How did Eddie Van Halen feel about producer Ted Templeman’s work on Van Halen’s most successful album 1984?” or, if you need a LOT of time, “I was wondering if you could tell me about the sometimes contentious relationship between David Lee Roth and the rest of the band?” 



1.) Grease Your Palms and Forearms During Exams for Quicker Writing:

This old trick is lifted directly from tips given by applicants to the Foreign Service. Inevitably, question three on the entrance exam is: “List the entire history of (insert name of country here) by quoting every conversation spoken within its geographical boundaries in the past two thousand years. (Note: usually five thousand years if Greece or Egypt are the country listed.) While obviously common-knowledge for any applicant, most test-takers could only get to around 1500 A.D. within the 30 minute time limit.


However, with greased palms and arms, applicants could write their answers so fast that they were able to take a power nap after finishing answering. Try it for yourself, and also keep a fire blanket with you if you do.



Hopefully, our tips will be helpful for your test-taking and studying! We’re not responsible for your test performance, however, so stop with the angry emails!



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