Final Exams at UTC

By: Victoria Hampstead

Chattanooga, Tenn. (UTC/ The Loop) -For many, what happens in the next week or so will be a huge determinate for if their semester was considered successful or not. Yes, finals week has arrived on the campus of UTC.

Several students study at the Lupton Library

Throughout the semester time management, studying, and papers come and go but when finals begin there is a subtle shift in the air. For many, the tests, assignments, presentations, and papers due for finals carry much more weight than those due over the entire semester. For example, in one General Science class the research paper is worth over 25% of the final grade. With statistics like these, the notable influx to the Lupton Library is not without reason.

It’s true, the library is much more active during the last couple weeks of school. This is clear if you simply go to the desk and the answer is “we are out of computers”.  Does this indicate a change of study habits during finals?

Maggie Dougherty, a junior and communications major at UTC, said she notices the change in the library around finals saying she can’t focus because there are so many people.

Maggie Dougherty on the library during finals

Lauren Vantrese, a Junior Bio-Chemistry major, appreciates the Lupton Library during finals as a common meeting place for students.

Lauren Vantrese comments on the library

When it comes to studying in general, Jordan Foutch, 21-year-old Chemistry major says his study habits don’t change much when it’s time for finals. “My study habits are pretty much the same because they are so closely spaced together that you don’t have time to space them out.” Foutch also noted that while he retains information pretty well he feels that having to study in such a rushed manner causes him to put less effort into studying overall.  When asked what keeps Foutch motivated his answer was simple,

Brad Gibson, Chemical Engineering major, studying at the Lupton Library

“Getting accepted to Med School.”

Senior Kevin Brown, a mechanical engineering major, echoed Foutch in his frustrations about finals. Brown said by finals “I give up, I’m burnt out by the time they come around.” Although he is willing to admit “My study habits are sloppy, Helter Skelter if you will,” Brown said some motivators for him are will power in the form of friends and Red Bull.

Finals can be difficult for many but there are resources for help. William Rapaport, of New York at buffalo has several suggestions for handling exams. His article “How to Study: A Brief Guide” has helpful tips for studying in general but when it comes to exams he narrows it down.  He urges students to not simply re-read the text book, make a study outline, do sample problems, make flash cards, and finally stop studying when you are confident.

UTC takes note of the need and sometimes the time management issues students have for studying during finals and therefore the Lupton Library makes some changes for finals. Starting on Monday, April 25, Library hours extend to two in the morning on many weekdays and extend other hours throughout the week. This new schedule helps facilitate studying for many.

As exams approach, it may also be useful to note the exam schedule on UTC’s website.

Looking Back: The Stress of Finals Week

By Sarah Wagner

CHATTANOOGA (UTC/The Loop) — The end of the semester is the most stressful part for some UTC students.

The semester’s end is a busy time for professors and students alike. Not only is there course material to finish covering, but also there are final exams to study for. For many students, finals week is the most strenuous week of all.

Beth Thrasher, Chattanooga sophomore, is no exception. “It is the only week consumed with an exam in every single one of your classes,” she said.

The final exam can count for a lot. Kristi Anne Moore, Mt. Juliet, Tenn. freshman, said, “For some people, what they make on their final is the only factor that decides whether they pass or fail the class.” Amber Bowers, Chattanooga sophomore, added, “I’m always scrambling to make sure that I’ve gotten everything I needed to keep or improve the grade I have.”

Scrambling is right. Although most students re aware of the importance of the final exam, it doesn’t stop some from waiting until the last minute to start studying.

Bowers is included in that category. “Like most students, I put off worrying about tests until I have to, “ she said. “So the week before (finals) makes me have to cut back on sleep in order to get everything I need done.” Thrasher, however, has a positive outlook on the last minute cramming. She said the stress helps her accomplish all of her tasks.

In many classes, the final isn’t the only thing students have to worry about at the end of the semester. Most professors at UTC hand out a syllabus at the beginning of the semester telling what they plan to cover during the course. When the semester is coming to an end, any tests, quizzes, or projects not given yet could get squeezed into the final class periods.

Bowers said most professors plan to go by their syllabi because their tests are similar each semester. So even if they are running out of time, “they are (still) eager to keep it very standardized.” Moore added that many of her professors would just omit what they were unable to cover if it isn’t too crucial to the overall course.

With finals week just around the corner, some might wonder how students are dealing with the added stress. Many just study a lot. Some take long runs to clear their minds. Moore said her and her friends “reward” themselves by going out for ice cream. Lorraine Norris, Atlanta senior, said, “I drink lots of coffee, eat quick snacks, and wish that I had that machine from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ that kept your eyes open.”