The Oxford Eagle
As the conclusion of the fall semester approaches, so do the highly anticipated final examinations.
An inevitable week faced by students and professors alike at the University of Mississippi, final exams have proven to be stressful for those on either side.
Students are finding different ways to best help them prepare for their examinations.
Delaney Class, a sophomore business management major at the University of Mississippi, said preparing for finals earlier than a week prior is hard because of her schedule.
“I usually begin studying the week before my exams begin, but only if I have the time to do so,” Class said. “My classes are usually wrapping up the week before, so sometimes I’m too busy until the Saturday before exams to begin looking at the material.”
Studying methods vary for everyone, but Class said note cards and rereading the chapters are what work best for her.
“Whenever I’m preparing for a test, whether it’s a final or not, I have to make a study guide,” Class said. “Rereading the chapters to refresh my mind is also really helpful, as are making note cards to help me remember the material.”
Although students rely heavily on their own studying to get good grades on their exams, professors also play an integral role in helping students prepare.
“For the more challenging classes I’ve taken, like accounting, the professors give study guides and practice problems, which are really useful, and give me an idea of what to expect on the actual test,” Class said.
“For classes like English, the professor will usually give us a range of essay questions ahead of time, allowing us to plan our ideas for each one, and on the actual test, we’ll only be asked to answer one of them.”
Even though the University of Mississippi hosts a number of buildings that accommodate finals preparation, the J. D. Williams Library seems to be the most popular place for students to study.
“My freshman year, I learned how crowded the library got during finals week,” Class said. “Sitting on the ground near an outlet for my computer to charge was not ideal.”
Learning that space is in high demand at the library during finals week, Class opts for less crowded places off campus.
“This year, I haven’t stepped foot in the library for finals,” Class said. “Instead, I go to coffee shops or quiet restaurants, like Panera.”
Besides the stress of studying, students are also under pressure to ensure their final examination scores don’t bring down their overall class grade.
“I think the main stressor of finals is knowing that this one test score can affect your final grade for that class greatly,” Class said.
Considering financial and academic scholarships are granted based on the person’s academic performance each semester, low grades on final exams can literally cost students if they don’t do well.
For students like Devan Freeland, a sophomore Elementary Education major at the University of Mississippi, it’s parental pressure that creates additional stress during finals week.
“My parents are just extremely academically-oriented,” Freeland said. “I was always raised to do my best and try my hardest, especially when it comes to school, and knowing they expect that from me adds additional pressure to study and do well.”
Besides aiming to please her parents, Freeland treasures education as well, which was ultimately the deciding factor in choosing to study elementary education.
“Because I want to become a teacher one day, it’s so important for me to develop good study habits so that I can model them for my future students,” Freeland said.
Taking detailed notes and creating a study guide out of them is one way Freeland prepares for final exams.
“I save all of the notes I take throughout the semester in each of my classes and make one big compilation of them before finals start,” Freeland said. “Doing this, I’m not only able to go over the lectures again, but I’m also really organized.”
Organization is key for students with a busy class schedule and a lot of final exams, as Freeland learned her first year of college.
“As a freshman, you’re so new to the college lifestyle,” Freeland said. “My first semester, I learned a lot about myself and the importance of time management, especially when it came to budgeting time to study for my finals.”
As a more experienced sophomore, Freeland says she is grateful for her first semester freshman year, as it quickly helped her to understand what would be expected of her at the college level.
“Studying for finals this year hasn’t been as stressful as it was my first year,” Freeland said. “I’ve learned by now what works for me and what doesn’t in terms of preparing for my tests, and that has played a huge role in feeling ready and reducing my stress-level during finals week.”