Freshmen tackle first finals week

By Marie Wilson

While freshmen have already taken one round of college exams during midterms, some are unsure about what to expect from finals week.

“In general, I don’t even know what to study and how much it will affect my grade,” said Ilana Toch, freshman in Education.

Toch said her three finals will all be cumulative, so she will have to study for them differently than she did for her midterms.

Other first-year students also said they have concerns about how to manage their time and how to adjust to the larger amount of material covered on college exams.

“I’m trying to have enough time to study for all of the finals,” said Dalya Alazawy, freshman in LAS, who will be taking four exams to finish out the semester.

Alazawy studied with Jehan El-Gabri, freshman in LAS, Monday afternoon, getting ready for a dialogue in an Arabic course. She said she would start preparing more for finals once classes ended.

Though many students end up cramming for finals just before taking them, this is not a recommended study strategy.

“Don’t leave everything until the last minute because cramming is never a good idea,” said Julian Parrott, assistant provost and director of the Division of General Studies’ Campus Center for Advising and Academic Services. “You need to maintain a level of connection to the material throughout the semester.”

Studying during the semester and keeping up with homework has been an adjustment for Yash Kulkarni, freshman in Engineering. Kulkarni went to school in India before attending the University, and he said studying patterns are very different here.

“In India, you can just put in eight hours at the end, but here, you have to keep up with homework and you have to do it every day,” Kulkarni said. “There’s more application (of the material).”

Aside from keeping up with course material, Parrott suggests new students prepare for finals in a concentrated state of mind instead of just studying for a long time. He said first semester grades are important for students who want to transfer into another college because they are the best evidence of a student’s academic performance.

“I’m not going to discount the importance of first semester grades,” Parrott said. “But we like to see strong grades developed over time.”

Mike Reiser, freshman in General Studies, is one such student who will eventually have to transfer into another college. Reiser said he feels confident going into his four finals because they are mostly in familiar subjects and he is doing well in all his classes.

“I’m really not that nervous actually,” Reiser said.