‘Surviving Finals’ coaches students to success

By Sean Collins
December 7, 2011

The Cabrini College Finals Schedule for the Fall Semester 2011. Finals week will take place from Monday, Dec. 12 through Saturday Dec. 17. Residence Halls close at 10 a.m. on Dec. 17 and reopen on Jan. 17.

Studying for college finals demands a great deal of preparation.

“Surviving Finals Week” was held on Wednesday, Nov. 30, in East Residence Hall. The bi-yearly event was jointly  hosted by Maritza DeJesus, coordinator of academic counseling; Catherine Beckowski, Writing Center coordinator; and Dianne Devanney, math specialist.

Students were offered advice on not only the best methods of preparing for finals, but also on how to deal with stress and time management. They also included information on where to find different forms of assistance on campus.

Pizza was delivered and served to students. The instructors presented a series of tips on good study habits as well as refreshments to attendees of the event.

The event was divided into three parts. The first was presented by DeJesus, and centered on techniques that every student should know before they sit down to study for the really big tests.

This advice included DeJesus’s five-day plan. She recommended dividing study material into four equal parts. Next was to study a different part every day along with the part you had studied the previous day.

By the time the test rolls around, you will have covered each section. The intent of this approach is to make sure you know the material through understanding it rather than just reading it.

“If you can’t say it out loud or write it down from memory, then you don’t know it,” DeJesus said. “If you know only half of it, but are not sure on the second half, you need to go review it again until it you can say it from memory. Reading it does not mean the same as understanding it.”

DeJesus also covered a few non-academic problems caused by finals and how they can be solved. These tips included advice like drinking more water and exercising to improve concentration.

“If your body gets dehydrated, you will get tired,” DeJesus said. “This is why water is so important. You should drink eight to 10 glasses a day.”

Water is not the only requirement to keep you alert and awake during studying hours. DeJesus went on to say that breakfast is a must every morning to keep you brain nourished.

Part two of the event was covered by Beckowski. This centered on essay tests.

Beckowski taught one such way in the presentation. This was to outline the key information you have in your notes. She gave a few examples of the best ways to do this, including outlining main points.

By doing this, you can have a better understanding ahead of time of what you plan to write.

“When you outline your ideas from the notes you took,” Beckowski said. “It will come right out on the test.”

Also covered in the presentation were common mistakes that can be avoided by students. These included misread directions, test anxiety and rushing through the test in order to be done quickly.

“You won’t get a prize for being the first one out the door on exam day,” Devanney said.

The third session concluded the event with a Jeopardy-style trivia game. Students answered various questions on what they had learned in the presentation.

“I loved the Jeopardy part,” Kaitlyn Loynds, freshman undeclared, said. “I thought it was really fun. I think that overall, it was effective in teaching me the best way to go about finals.”

“It definitely helped me see exactly what I have to do,” Donald Powell, junior criminology major, said. “From the advice I got here, I’m going to make a list of what I have to do for finals week. I would recommend this to anyone.”


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Sean Collins

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