Katy Murray and Sarah Kirkpatrick
Managing Editor and Assistant Copy Editor
Every year students let the stress of final exams get the best of them while many preventative methods exist to help them prepare and remain calm throughout the event.
“This time of year is always the most stressful for me,” said senior marketing major Tara Craig.
One way to help a student prepare can be found in the Workshop, "Preparing for Finals," on April 26 at 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of Harris Hall. At the event students will receive handouts, scantrons and more helpful information.
In the event of a student needing assistance throughout finals week, this year the UAM Tutoring Center on the second floor of Harris will be open during the following times:
“The Commuter Café will also be open to students during the above schedule,” said Laura Hughes, director of Counseling, Testing and Career Services. “There will be coffee available and it offers a quiet study area to students.”
One of the most important things you can do is to have a plan for studying, and not wait around until the last minute, said Ranelle Eubanks, assistant vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. Eubanks recommends that instead of waiting until the last minute, students should set aside time every day to study.
Other methods to help students better prepare can be to know: the topics the exam will cover; the percentage of questions asked from each unit or chapter; the types of questions that will be asked, such as multiple choice, fill in the blank and true or false; the weighting given to lecture notes, textbook readings and handouts. While studying one will also need all of his notes, handouts, old exams and text books. According to the counseling and testing center, one’s ability to recall information can be largely determined by the way he studies the material.
An effective study technique can be the “silent review” where a student reads the information and then quizzes himself until he can recall it without his notes. Another useful technique can be “recitation” where one repeats the material aloud increasing his ability to recall. Other methods include using diagrams, maps, study cards or word/phrase cues to help trigger the information. When preparing for an essay exam one should review the material and formulate opinions and analyses ahead of time.
Make flash cards, concept maps, vocabulary lists or anything else that can help you, Eubanks said. Mnemonic devices, devices which assist in memorizing certain items, can also prove helpful.
Other helpful tips to remain stress-free include:
Unless a disaster occurs, one should not plan to practice “cramming.” According to www.unl.edu/UFP/finaltak.htm, one forgets most of what he crams before ever going to the exam and 90 percent of the information soon after. The night before a final one should have already organized, rehearsed and outlined the material to practice it one last time.
Then getting enough sleep so one can wake up early enough for a last review becomes crucial. Studying immediately before an exam should also not be attempted because it will more than likely only create confusion in a student’s mind.
“Don’t stay up all night before an exam, and don’t study for more than 50 minutes without a short break,” Eubanks said.
She also said it is important to eat a healthy breakfast the morning of your exams, and to be prepared by having all of your supplies. This way you aren’t running around at the last minute trying to gather up everything you need.
“Preparing for exams is like preparing for a marathon,” Eubanks said. “You don’t just walk out one day and run 26 miles, you also don’t study all night for an exam the next day. Your brain should be conditioned just like your body.”
A student should also ask their instructor any questions he has either in a class session or in their office. Furthermore every student should determine, from the final exam schedule, the date and time of all of their exams. To view a schedule one can go to www.uamont.edu/Schedules/. When reading the schedule one should see the times and days of the week in which his class meets in the left-hand column. These will not be listed in numerical order and the time of the final exam will not be during the class’ usual meeting time.
The left-hand column lists in groups the classes which will have their final on a certain day of exam week. For example if one needs to find the final exam time for an 8 a.m. MWF class, he should look to the column on the left. Once the usual class day and time is found he can follow the line across the page to the right-hand column where he should see what time period the exam will be in during finals week. One should note every final on the schedule lasts for two hours giving the student more time to take the exam.
If a student has a T/H class at 11 a.m. then he should find that class in the left-hand column under the heading Friday, May 6. Then he should find in the right-hand column the time of the exam for that class. He should find it to be from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
© The Voice, 2005
Revised 050422 — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_20/stress.htm