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What advice do you have on studying for finals?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 28, 2007

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Photo of Erica Bartlett

“Go to the library and only do what you’re there to work on. Don’t go on the Internet or socialize. Your e-mail can wait.”

Photo of Stephen Burditt

“Don’t go to the bars and don’t procrastinate.”

Photo of Kristin de Koning

“I try to pay attention and attend class regularly throughout the semester so that I don’t have to cram. Then I just do a little review and everything works out fine.”

Photo of Julie Santaularia

“I would just go over your notes, tests and old quizzes. My sorority has a test file that we can use as well. Then just find a quiet place to study and try not to get distracted.”

Comments

aeroscout17 6 years, 4 months ago

Agnostick wrote, "P.S. Anyone here run across some of their old college notebooks? You know, the ones with the pages where you start writing fairly legibly: and then maybe 3/4 way down the page, these weird, squiggly lines that kinda trail off to the right, and off the page:?"

Yup, found a few of those although I threw them out after the last move. Great memories (or lack of) though!

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trollkiller 6 years, 4 months ago

You Google everything don't you?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

de Koning... Thats a good strong Dutch name.

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Magpie 6 years, 4 months ago

I'll tell you what NOT to do: Don't act like an entitled little cobag and text message your beleaguered GTA asking for a complete study guide of the material you missed while you were on a protracted vacay in Breckenridge. "PLZ Send Me what i missed thx." Grrr.

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GretchenJP 6 years, 4 months ago

I could tell you... but then I'd have to kill you.

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denak 6 years, 4 months ago

When I was in college(not to long ago) the one thing that use to bug the heck out of me were the sorority girls giggling about how they didn't have to study because the sorority had a test file. It irritated the living daylights out of me. To me, going and getting an old test, or in some cases the same test if the teacher is lazy, and then memorizing just enough to pass isn't studying, it's cheating.

If you aren't going to put in the effort to really study and learn the material, don't even waste our time and just drop out.

If you study and pay attention in class, most of the time, you are going to do alright.

Dena

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jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

Agno: I found one from my biology class freshman year, in which for about four pages my notes were written as word bubbles coming out of caricatures of my friends. I was pleased.

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Agnostick 6 years, 4 months ago

Plan ahead! I mean, plan ahead far enough that you choose the right instructor!

Back in my early collegiate days, I had to take a couple of economics classes. First one was "Macroeconomics," and the instructor was this old gentleman... probably tenured... and no more than two years away from retirement. Grade was comprised of four exams and a final--no pop quizzes, no homework, no papers. All exams were 50-question multiple-choice on a Scantron. Final exam was the same format, but 100 questions.

The lectures were a major snoozefest. The class preceding each exam was a "review session," during which the professor asked us "sample questions" from the upcoming exam. He'd ask a question, give the four options, and then a few folks would shout out an answer, and we'd briefly (20-30 seconds) discuss what the right answer was, and why the other options were wrong, if necessary.

So, first exam, everyone is huddled over their Scantrons... we take the test, walk out into the hallway... and we didn't have to say a word. We all knew.

The "sample questions" from the review session were the test questions!!!!

IN ORDER!!!!

Needless to say, the next regular class session after the first exam, the classroom was maybe only 25% occupied. As was the class after that, and the class after that, and the class after that. Up until the next "review session," at which point the classroom was SRO!

I remember, for one of them, furiously studying and memorizing letter sequences, hopped up on coffee, from 4am-6am... :p

And yes... I made sure I had the exact same guy next semester, when I had to take "Microeconomics."

Eventually changed my major, too, since I didn't learn sh*t about economics! :p~~~~~~~~

Got a "B" in both classes, though. ;)

I also remember three or four instructors--maybe this one--having "optional final exams." Seems to me that at least one of them, you could only improve your grade by taking the final--if the grade on the final brought your class grade down, it wouldn't count. But I think the others definitely counted, and you had to decide whether or not you wanted to take the gamble with the final exam!

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com http://www.uscentrist.org http://www.americanplan.org

P.S. Anyone here run across some of their old college notebooks? You know, the ones with the pages where you start writing fairly legibly... and then maybe 3/4 way down the page, these weird, squiggly lines that kinda trail off to the right, and off the page...?

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notnowdear 6 years, 4 months ago

Sleep. You must sleep to be able to think clearly.

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asauder 6 years, 4 months ago

The test file comment is the funniest thing I have seen in years.

They are supposed to be copies of old tests that you can use if you are in the same class/prof. the theroy being that tests can't change that much. Umm, well anyone who says that a test file at their sor/frat was of help will be the 1st.

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trinity 6 years, 4 months ago

sounds like a sinister sorority thing. best leave it alone&study, hawklet. ;)

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costello 6 years, 4 months ago

"What is this 'test file' that Julie speaks of?"

I was wondering the same thing, hawklet.

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costello 6 years, 4 months ago

"One of my brothers actually did that at KU ... He says he doesn's have that dream."

Maybe actually having the experience "inoculates" you to the dream?

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hawklet21 6 years, 4 months ago

What is this "test file" that Julie speaks of? It sounds like it could make finals a lot easier...

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jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

All you nightmare prone folks just need to try Lightspeed Briefs(tm)!

Teacher: Good morning, class. I trust you've all prepared for today's final exam.

Fry: Uh, excuse me? I missed a few lectures. Uh, what subject is this?

Teacher: Ancient Egyptian algebra.

Fry: What a nightmare!

Teacher: Mister Fry, are those your underpants? Young man, I think it's time you learned a lesson about Lightspeed brand briefs.

Announcer: (voice-over) Lightspeed fits today's active lifestyle. Whether you're on the job ... or having fun. Lightspeed briefs, style and comfort for the discriminating crotch.

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janeyb 6 years, 4 months ago

"I didn't go to class all semester and the final is in ten minutes" and I'm nude.

Does everyone have that dream? One of my brothers actually did that at KU (not sure about the naked part) and of course ended up back at home going to local college. He did graduate, went to grad school and teaches at a large state university. He says he doesn's have that dream.

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costello 6 years, 4 months ago

"I didn't go to class all semester and the final is in ten minutes:."

lol... I've had that dream too. And how about the one where you show up late for the final? That one actually happened to me once. I showed up in the right room at the right time, but one day late. Thank God for a compassionate prof who let me sit down and take the final in his office.

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75x55 6 years, 4 months ago

arrghh.

It's been twenty years, and I'll probably have 'the dream' again now... Thanks, LJW. I didn't go to class all semester and the final is in ten minutes....

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b3 6 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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themiddlechild 6 years, 4 months ago

If you go to class regularly and do your homework, you shouldn't have to spend too much time on studying. Everything you need to know on the final is already covered in class.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

I found the best approach to finals was similar to T_O_B's strategy... The more relaxed I was the better I did.

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aeroscout17 6 years, 4 months ago

Oops should have been learn it, not earn it although I guess they both work! ;)

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aeroscout17 6 years, 4 months ago

Kristin hit it right on; took me years to earn it but you can't wait until the last minute. Go to class, keep up on the reading and you would be surprised how easy (and less stressful) finals are.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 4 months ago

If you don't go to college, finals are extremely easy. In fact, it's like they don't even exist!

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unelectable 6 years, 4 months ago

Why is OtS asking Freshman how to study for finals. They're Freshman. They have never taken a college final!

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trinity 6 years, 4 months ago

read, read, and read again. and eat alot of cookies. (::)<<<weird cookie.

this advice is for you, hawklet! :)

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 4 months ago

Chicago - The OTS interns have a history of really not knowing street names and parts of town. I'm just happy that it seems they moved off Mass St./Borders for today.

R_I - The meth keeps me focused. The bourbon keeps me seated. Spatially perplexed tweeker sounds about right.

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preebo 6 years, 4 months ago

Simply put, study and prepare in advance.

Studies show that students who prepare all semester long are more likely to get better grades then those who procrastinate and cram the night before. You're better off learning the material than memorizing it before tests.

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Chicago_JHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

So did they move the campus buildings downtown, or did they rename Jayhawk Boulevard Massachusetts Street?

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consumer1 6 years, 4 months ago

Get adopted into the Wal Mart family and buy the university a new building. Easy enough. Oops!! That will only work if you go to mizzou !! Sorry! I guess you will have to actually study.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

T_O_B, Spatially perplexed tweeker?

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 4 months ago

Study consistently and you won't need to worry about finals.

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vavs0929 6 years, 4 months ago

Re-write your notes and in the process clarify any vague information. It helps you remember the information if you write it over again. It also allows you to catch any questions you may have about the material.

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dminear60 6 years, 4 months ago

Study, study and study some more. Marathon study sessions are not the best way to study. Study in short but frequent sessions. It will help you retain the material better.

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jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

Don't do what I do, because I'm going crazy.

No, I'm not going to tell you what I do! Why are you so nosy?

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