Test anxiety motivates students to study for finals earlier

With finals week rapidly approaching, students are overwhelmed at the thought of testing in a classroom.

Several said they’re used to online exams because of restrictions on in-person attendance.

Jake Holecek, sophomore in Business, said he’s anxious about the in-person exams. 

“This year with taking tests in person, it’s kind of an intimidating feeling,” Holecek said. “With me as a sophomore, this will be my first time taking finals in person.”

Holecek felt the pressure to hit the books early more so this year since he said last year’s online finals provided a more relaxed testing environment compared to this year’s intensity. 

Dibya Rey, junior in LAS, said the week prior to finals provided a stressful work week, and she felt compelled to study early. 

“There’s a final push of assignments just before finals start, but in general, I find those final projects somewhat comprehensive, they really help fold in some final studying,” Rey said.

Emily Wojcik, freshman in Media, said she took month-long preparations for her intensive language exams. 

“I’ve been making quizlets months ago for my final Italian exam,” Wojcik said. “I haven’t had to worry about finals for years. A college level English class is far more demanding than a high school one.” 

Dave Allgaier, junior in AHS, had a more confident opinion, believing he was all set to do well on his finals week. 

“I’m not too anxious — obviously there is going to be a little bit, but compared to last year and the year before that, I have a lot more experience,” Allgaier said. “I’m a lot more prepared in terms of the scheduling and the weight of the work.” 

Shaden Rafati, freshman in AHS, said she had few final exams during her senior year of high school and is now facing several exams. 

“It was all online,” Rafati said. “I didn’t have finals for every class, so I wasn’t really worried about finals last year. Now, I’m a little bit stressed about it.” 

Maddie Szkwarek and Lucy Nash, sophomores in Engineering, said they plan to study toward the end of the semester and that they had few actual exams during finals week.

“I only have two finals,” Szkwarek said. “They are still online.” 

“I have a lot of projects due before then,” Nash said. “It’s hard to budget time with them.”

With the varying degrees of stress burdening the unique circumstances and schedules of students, some instructors have insisted on taking a more gradual, holistic approach to taking on finals.

Karle Flanagan, senior instructor of STAT 100: Statistics, gave advice to students. 

“I would definitely recommend to not procrastinate,” Flanagan said. “The sooner you start studying the better. I would actually recommend breaking it up into days, study this thing on this day, so it’s not as overwhelming.” 

Flanagan advised the importance of Reading Day prior to finals week, with it being the ideal window to set aside time to study. 

“A lot of the time the reason people get stressed during finals is because they’re procrastinating till the last minute, and you don’t want to create unnecessary stress,” Flanagan said.  

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