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Nicholls professors share advice for finals week

April 27, 2017

As finals approach, Nicholls professors share advice for how to prepare for finals week.

They discuss studying habits, how to prepare for different types of exams and how to maintain good mental health.

“As instructors and professors, students sometimes feel we don’t truly understand what its like,” Jennifer Anselmi, instructor of history and geography, said. “We understand it’s a lot of effort and work. That’s the point of it; it’s a way to prove to the professor that you learned all that you were supposed to learn throughout the semester.”

Some professors believe the best way to prepare for finals week is to begin prepping the first week of the semester.

“When it comes to finals week, my advice is to begin preparing at the very beginning of each semester,” Deborah Cibelli, professor of Art, said. “To me, the key is to constantly be reviewing and going over materials covered throughout the semester.”

Another way to prepare for finals is to know what form the exam will be in: short response, multiple choice, final projects or essays.

“I think the most important thing is to figure out the format of your test,” Uttam Pokharel, assistant professor of chemistry, said. “If it’s a multiple choice exam, then collect as much information as possible. When preparing for a short response exam, it’s best to go back and work out problems or practice writing out your materials. You’ll obtain more information and will be prepared for the format of the test.”

Professors also shared specific studying strategies that prove beneficial for exams.

“I think it helps to study with other people,” Ray Giguette, professor of interdisciplinary studies, said. “Another thing students can do is go back and retake a previous to test your knowledge on past concepts. The best way to test your knowledge is to test yourself or have someone else test you.”

Another way students can prepare is to take advantage of the resources in the library. During finals week the library remains open until midnight.

“I think the most important thing is to eat and sleep,” Scott Banville, professor of languages and literature, said. “I know a lot of students think they have to cram or stay up an extra four to five hours to study. Some students become so stressed they stop eating. Your brain and your body work a lot better with food and sleep. It may sound basic, but it is extremely important.”

Maintaining a healthy balance of food and sleep is detrimental to finals week. If all else fails, students can also reach out to their professors for extra help.

“Do not be afraid to ask your professors if you have any concepts you do not understand or you may be confused on,” Pokharel said.

Preparations for finals are in full swing. Whether study groups, teaching others or cramming all night works best for you, be sure to take care of yourself during finals week.

“I think the most important thing for students to do as finals week approaches is to find balance,” Anselmi said. “Finals can be overwhelming with a lot of final papers, projects and exams. You have to be organized enough to schedule your time wisely. Find out what’s a priority and devote adequate time to everything you have due at the end. It’s not just about the quantity of time you put into the work, but the quality of your work.”

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