Final Exams

 

 This is a partial re-post for students who are about to start freaking out about finals that start this week. It has been a number of years since I finished undergraduate and graduate school. And, even longer since high school; however, I do believe that I am qualified to give some advice on surviving semester exams. For those students around the country and here on campus, I offer this practical advice:

  1. Do not go to sleep until you have gone at least three straight nights without any sleep. Only real students can pass this endurance stage. Forget everything your parents taught you about a good night sleep before finals.
  2. Eat healthy. A true final’s diet consists of Mountain Dew, pizza, and coffee.
  3. Borrow notes from the smartest kid in the class.
  4. If you have to study math, history, English, and science for the final, take this advice: ignore math – if you do not know it by now, you are not going to learn it in 24 hours. Ask the countless people in society who took calculus and still cannot balance their check book. Always mark this as your answer for English, “he wrote this piece due to his inner conflict with himself.” If you are taking a history exam, just write down the Treaty of Paris. Better yet, talk about the rise of class conflict and its inability to resolve racial and/or economic problems. Be sure to use Karl Marx’s name. As for science, list all of the terms you memorized from the typical bold print column in your textbook.
  5. Study in a tent (did it once, it was awesome). Best grades ever!
  6. Spend the week building up this incredible vocabulary to use on the exam. At worst, you can later argue that your instructor missed the concepts you developed in your essay. Or, if you are lucky, your instructor will assume that you know it before he/she stops reading.
  7. Write too much. Maybe your instructor will again assume you know it.
  8. Take your teacher out for lunch; I would only do this after you take the final and have clearly failed it.
  9. Fake a nervous breakdown. This will require medical leave. Think, two more weeks to study a semester worth of material you never learned.
  10. As a buddy of mine did, go to the movies every night during finals week. According to him, there is nothing wrong with a 1.5 GPA.
  11. Some schools have a policy that will allow you to exempt all finals and receive a grade of an (A) if your best friend dies. There are books on how to fake this. I would save this as your absolute last resort.
  12. If all fails, tell your instructor how much you enjoyed his or her class, even when you were reading the news paper during a lecture.
  13. If you have to take calculus, chemistry, and physics on the same day, refer back to advice number 9.
  14. If you leave campus thinking that all of your exams were very easy, you most likely failed them.
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23 thoughts on “Final Exams

  1. Carson’s finals are easy. I aced them. He practically tells you everything that you need to study, and when in doubt in AP Euro, just write something about the French Revolution. It’s probably all you’ve talked about the entire semester anyway.

  2. I wish that were true Kristi, be we’ve spent about 2 days on the French Revolution so far…

    Not trying to brag here, but am I the only one who thinks of finals just as any other tests? My mother thinks otherwise…

  3. Carson,
    Good call on #4. Thats why I don’t want to take my Algebra 2 final because I don’t know it yet! I don’t think finals are that horrible though. Its pretty stressful and time consuming, and then you get a long break so it all works out in the end.

  4. I believe its Jar Jar Binks…besides the point, I enjoyed the article, lot of true stuff in there. My bro sounds like the one in number 10.

  5. A tent would be at the top of your life experiences? That’s insane. You have got to get out more. I mean, I’m all for camping, but I doubt that I would list my time in a tent as one of my top ten life experiences. And something about the French Revolution.

  6. In regards to #4, Calculus, while a beautiful and captivating subject, has nothing to do with balancing one’s checkbook, except that they both start with the letter C.

  7. With the way our finals are averaged, I’ve discovered I can get 30s on my finals and still pass classes. I just used what I learned in math in order to tell me how to do worse in it.

    Isn’t schooling great!?

  8. Walker – So there is a need for math. Of course you have an ego and would love to show me how smart you are, and how easy my exam is, right?

    Kristi – I might have to disagree. Then again, I never took Calculus.

  9. I’m beginning to think you’ve made the last 2 tests a lost harder just because I told you that your first one was really easy…

    And seriously Carson, why are you so anti-grade inflation? All of your students love it!

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