University Students Conquer Exam Week
April 9 to 16 is exam week at Tyndale University College. Whether you’re a first-year student conquering the first chapter of your undergraduate adventure, or a fourth-year student celebrating your last year, everyone knows that finals are an unavoidable – yet conquerable – reality. Just ask Sarah Gaensler [BA 2014], Emma Coates [BA 2014], and Bethany Freeman [BA 2014]. All three are graduating this year, yet each has experienced exam week differently, calling for various study tactics.
“My crunch week was last week. I had three major year-long projects due last week that were each about 40 to 50 per cent of my grades. I only have one exam this week, so I’m not super stressed out,” says Sarah.
The Business Administration program at Tyndale, where Sarah has studied for the past four years, is designed to prepare students for the demanding realities of the business world. That’s why there are constant deadlines throughout the year that culminate into final projects. This means that business students get a break at the end of the semester while students in other programs experience relatively more pressure at this time of year.
Emma is in the Human Services program studying in the Social Service Work Track. This semester Emma has five final exams. To help manage the stress associated with her loaded schedule, she plans to start studying early. “I’m just trying to study ahead of time and make sure I take regular breaks.”
Bethany is a transfer student in the Early Childhood Education Track of the Human Services program. Her experience with finals this year is a mixture between Sarah’s and Emma’s worlds – a blend of final projects and exams. Bethany confidently admits that “it can be a little stressful at times just to get your head wrapped around what you need to know, but once you’re in the exam you say to yourself: ‘Okay, I’ve got this!’”
Finding time to relax during exams is important for students to effectively absorb what they need to know. This can mean different things for different people. Sarah and Emma are roommates, which allows them to find ways to relax together in community. “A lot of the time we will plan a full day of studying, and then at around 9 p.m. we will plan a break. We might do something like watch a movie, play games or go on a walk,” says Emma.
When it comes down to the actual practice of studying, Bethany finds it helpful to interact with other students. “I find that studying in groups is helpful, especially with history and philosophy. We’ll go into a room, write out concepts on the board and clarify the material with each other.”
Sarah, Emma and Bethany look forward to graduating this year, especially since that means an end to exams. But as they look back on all their hard work over the past eight semesters, the questions they face now relate more to life than to academics. What will they do after graduation?
Bethany is losing no time, and has already been hired by an organization called Kids Solutions, where she will be working with children with autism – a position she starts next week. Emma does feel the pressure to find a job, but is leaning towards taking a break this summer and will focus on her career hunt in September. Sarah plans to fully immerse herself in full-time ministry with an organization she helped found two years ago called Crowns of Life Ministries.
The University College spring graduation ceremony is on May 3, 2014 at 10 a.m. and will take place in the Bayview Chapel.