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Rustler Insight: Surviving Finals Week

December 1, 2020 by Trysta Stingley

Fear, stress, anxiety is accumulating in every student’s head currently in preparation for finals! You have worked harder than ever these last three-and-a-half months for this! Pressure and sleep deprivation filling up all your energy consumption; all you want right now is a coffee, not another test.
All across the nation, students are taking their last few exams online. This is very new to all of us, including teachers. This new remote learning environment certainly beefs up the pressure from what students are used to. However, Central Wyoming College has prepared its students to the full extent to be more prepared than most other colleges. At the beginning of the semester, students knew that they would be online after the Thanksgiving holiday; the break happened a little early, even still, students are well equipped for testing online. Examples of some of the finals could be essays, multiple-choice tests, or even virtual group projects—the final shows the teacher, school, and other universities how CWC students perform under pressure. Regular classwork, homework, and assignments are also included in the student’s final grade.
To help students do their best on finals or Celebration of Learning, Professor Fountain calls them to start building up a study guide. Make summaries and jot down points that are important and could be asked on the test. Add formulas or equations that are vital—outline important information and study what is necessary within the timeline. Solve issues by asking your professors to set up zoom meetings or emailing inquiries. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Group studies can also be helpful. Sharing information by texting, calling, or video chats can make you a better learner. Learning by teaching works great by reinforcing whatever you have learned. Take help from online quizzes and flashcards. It might make the subject less mundane and more exciting if you lack motivation. You have studied the whole week away, and you are finally ready for the exam; make a last-minute notecard if it is allowed and breeze over any spots you might struggle on for confidence reinforcement. Make sure you go to bed early, eat a good breakfast, and have all the materials laid out for your test the night before (calculators, notecards, scratch paper). Go on a relaxing stroll between your last glance at notes and the test start time so your brain will retain the information. Now you got this, go in with confidence!
My testing track record hasn’t always been the greatest, I still choked at the last test in high school, but I have changed my philosophy for college by spending more time studying the most crucial information that is more likely to be on the test. I read the bold fonts in my textbooks, and I always set up meetings with my professor before taking the plunge into the test. My professors always give out pointers and hints on what will be on the test and how the questions will be laid out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if you don’t think you need it. I have also implemented writing the most important information down on a sheet of paper, and once it is sufficiently memorized, I can narrow that sheet down to a single notecard that I can bring with me to the test. When I look over the paper so many times, it becomes second nature to my brain to pull up formulas for exams. I have also started watching youtube videos if I am still foggy in an area. The videos always explain the subject a little differently from my professors, so the information sticks better. And finally, I have reached out to my classmates more than ever this year since it may be challenging to make sense of an email. My friends in my classes get in zoom meetings together to show our work more effectively and help each other out in any way we can. Finals may feel like ominous doom, and you’re partially right; they are significant, but if you take a more relaxed approach to tackling them and managing your time well, you will be successful this semester.

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