Admission News

Taking College Finals for the First time

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Going off to college in the fall is a big transition. There is a lot to think about: meeting new people, adjusting to dorm life, learning where your classes are, getting to know your professors; it goes on and on. One thing to think about is your first semester classes and new content along with the need for different learning styles. After your first 15 weeks, you will experience your first college final.

Here are some things to help you through that transition.

How college finals differ from high school finals –
College finals are usually longer. In high school, finals general last 45 to 90 minutes. In college they last 120 to 150 minutes. That’s because college finals cover much more material and there may be more essays than fill-in-the-blank questions. Also rushing through your college final may not get you out faster. Often students are required to stay in the exam venue for at least a minimum length of time. You may even run out of time in a college final so it is wise to carry a watch so you can pace yourself, and you could plan to skip the questions you don’t know or are unsure of so you can do the best job on what you do know. You can go back to questions you have skipped if you have time at the end. You should also plan time at the end to double check your work.

How to Study –
College finals are less about knowing facts and more about the big picture. You will need to know basic information, but you will also be asked to apply that information and analyze it in larger contexts. It is good to look at your syllabus and your text(s) at the major headings. Try to explain and elaborate on each one.

Where to Study –
You will need a quiet place for studying. The library may seem like the place to go. It will be open 24 hours. But, the library will be crowded the week before finals. It might be better to try to study in your dorm room, in student lounges, or in your department’s library. Remember to take breaks, which might mean locating yourself near a snack or coffee spot. And, make sure to get your rest.

Be Prepared –
Carry your college ID to the test. They often require them, especially in large lecture classes to discourage cheating. If you do not have your ID, you may be refused admission.

Keep calm. Now you know more of what to expect. Take a deep breath and go forth!