College students going to different schools all over the country are taking their finals at the same place this year: “Zoom University”. We’ve been dreading the stress and exhaustion of finals week every year, and now we get to try it in quarantine during a global pandemic. Here are 4 tips to handle the challenges of finals week online.1. Cram like you’re still at college.
Well, avoid cramming material at the last minute, but don’t slack on studying and preparing while not at school. There are a few ways that college students can best of the situation at home. If you miss late night study sessions with friends at the library, consider a group FaceTime or Zoom session to lighten the mood. Also, set a specific window of time to study. Make a trip to the kitchen table and stay from 4 pm – 8 pm as if you made the trip to the library. Be prepared for the logistics get familiar with your exam schedule, the instructions, and the material being covered.2. Set your space up for success (especially your wi-fi).
If you can’t be in the classroom, get at close as possible to the real thing. Or, take this opportunity to set up a unique space that fits your needs that you might not be able to have in the classroom. Get noise-cancelling headphones and put your phone in another room if you need to eliminate all distractions. Get your favorite sweats and some soft music if you need to relax. Get a cup of coffee and a refreshing shower if you need to wake up. And maybe most importantly, there’s no IT department at home (unless you have some really cool parents or siblings), so do everything you can to prevent technical difficulties. Make sure your wi-fi is working smoothly and kick your little brother off the Xbox for an hour if it’s running too slow.
3. Don’t cheat yourself.
Be very careful if you’re tempted to do a quick Google search or peek at your notes during the exam. Professors are aware that students will try to cheat during online exams at have implemented features to bust them. For example, be aware that some exams are administered on “lock-down” browsers that limit or track your activity outside the browser window. Also, some programs require access to your laptop’s camera and mic to watch you as you take the exam. Just be aware that universities and professors are taking extra steps to uphold the integrity of classes and catch any dishonest actions.
4. Watch the clock.
Make sure to pay extra attention to time management during your exams. In the classroom, you might be used to a big timer on the projector at the front of the room or your professor announcing a 10-minute warning. Your bedroom isn’t a typical test-taking environment and you’ll need to adjust to get into that test-taking zone. Plus, professors might specifically write the exam to put a little pressure on your pace to prevent cheating. You might have plenty of time in the classroom, but they don’t want to give you plenty of time at home where you have Google at your fingertips.
Best of luck on all of your finals and here's the hoping we can finish this crazy semester on a good note.
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