Tips for surviving finals online

Camille Grochowski | Banner | A CBU student's desk after hours of studying for the upcoming New Testament Final Exam that will now be taken online.

With this semester at California Baptist University being moved completely online, many students may feel like they are struggling. As finals approach, it can be hard to find the motivation to study. Study groups can no longer meet in person, which can cause a lack of social interaction. Having these meetings over technology is not the same as holding in-person meetings.

Katie Dvorak, junior business administration major, said online classes have made the semester more difficult for her. Through these hard times, Dvorak said she has found that repetition is the best way for her to study. This includes using flashcards and writing down information she needs to memorize over and over until she has it down. While this works for her, Dvorak acknowledged that each student is different in which style works best for their study habits.

“Find your learning style and be confident in that,” Dvorak said. “Whether it’s repetition, word association, visualization or anything else, be confident in your brain that you can retain what you train it to.”

Mariah Mooring, junior creative writing major, said she feels as though classes have become both easier and harder.

“In some ways they’re easier because the teachers have to accommodate for what can be done at home,” Mooring said. “But in a lot of ways it’s harder because you have to self-pace. Before, going to class was a form of keeping yourself on track.”

Through these struggles Mooring has found a way to keep herself on track. She said she makes sure to review and memorize study guides given to her for any upcoming tests or quizzes. She encourages students to not be afraid to reach out with any questions they may have.

“Study the best that you can, but don’t do it all at once or the night before,” Mooring said. “Send emails to your teachers with any questions well before the test so they have time to get back to you. Take a deep breath. Pray. Just do your best.”

Professors have expressed that they are there for any students who need help during this unusual time, seeking to be even more accessible despite physical distance.

Dr. Toni Kirk, professor of English, said that during this time she has become sympathetic in understanding the stress this has put not only on professors, but on CBU students, as well. Kirk said she understands this pandemic can cause students to become forgetful of what is due.

“Remind yourself that a study partner will help you to remember a due date or an exam date,” Kirk said. “Share calendars with a study partner and both of you will know when a big project or paper is due. Your study partner can share flashcards with you and quiz you before a test. Create your paper cards and meet up to study or use online flashcards together. Everyone has a different and particular perspective and sharing perspectives can result in insight.”

Coming together to help one another has become more necessary than ever before, including in studying. Finding study partners, emailing questions to professors or studying until information is memorized are all ways the students of CBU can continue to finish strong.

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