Students give tips for finals preparations


Rachel Logan

Malina Kelemen (left) and Amber Gibbs visit therapy dogs Gracie (left) and Mayla in the Cambria Room last Thursday.

Rachel Logan, Opinions Editor

Finals week is here, and some students are at a loss for how best to approach success. Cramming doesn’t always produce the results students hope for, and it greatly increases stress and test anxiety.

Pre-pharmacy major Lindsey McDivitt said she has better strategies for studying other than cramming.

“Cramming is bad,” she said. “I use a lot of notecards, a lot of practice problems. I reread my notes.”

To relieve stress, McDivitt listens to music, like songs from musicals.

“I’ve been listening to ‘Phantom (of the Opera)’ all day,” she said.

Directly before a final, McDivitt said she dresses in a classy way that makes her feel better about herself, which lowers anxiety.

“I try to sleep as much as possible the night before. I try to eat (breakfast).”

Biology major Kara Dumrauf said she tries to eat something, too.

“I make sure I eat a granola bar. If you eat something small, your body will just use it immediately.”

Dumrauf warns against eating champion-size breakfasts, instead proposing grain-rich snacks.

She also said chocolate is good for tests.

“I’d go with some Hershey’s Kisses,” she said.

“I know a guy who has a bunch of candy on his desk when he takes tests, and he seems to do fairly well.”

Regarding studying, Dumrauf said she has a plan.

“I map it out. I break stuff up into lists and groups,” she said.

She said she goes through lists and makes sure she knows everything on them.

“My initial plan was to do well all year, so I wouldn’t have to study as much,” Dumrauf said.

The night before a final, Dumrauf said she looks for potential test questions and goes through old exams.

Nursing major Steven McKay compiles slideshows during the year to study from.

He said he transcribes his class notes and textbook notes into a powerpoint.

“I have an entire year’s powerpoint for each of my classes,” he said.

To relieve stress, McKay said he games, goes to the arcade and occasionally jogs.

Administrators are doing their part to help keep students stress-free by organizing events and opening locations for quiet study.

The Student Union will be open 24 hours a day until Friday, though most food providers will operate under normal hours. The Mountain Cat Club is to be closed entirely.

Also, the Cambria room will be set up with tables for quiet study.

Last Thursday, therapy dogs were present in the Cambria room. The dogs seemed happy to be there, and students left grinning. The dogs were dressed for the holidays in red and green sweaters and hats. Some of these were the same dogs previously present in the Academic Success Center for an event, and students seemed to truly enjoy petting them and playing with them.

Monday in the Learning Lab of the Academic Success Center, Gabi Maylock held a Stress-Free Zone event with hot chocolate, snowflakes and stress balls. Maylock said it is the first year this event has been held.

“Even if five students show up, at least I know I’ve made a difference.”