College students across the state have been hunkering down with notes, caffeine and snacks as they prepare for the end of semester exams.

The Log Cabin Democrat spoke with a group from Conway to see what their experiences with finals weeks has been.

Freshman:

Austin Butler, 19, University of Central Arkansas; from Mountain View, Arkansas; Nursing Major

1.) How was your first finals week different than test days you experienced in high school?

Finals in college are the opposite of finals in high school. High school semester tests are usually over a single chapter, whereas college finals are cumulative based. This is a hard adjustment. Highs school teaches memorization, more so than actual learning.

2.) How did you prepare for finals week?

You don’t prepare for finals week the week of. You prepare yourself for finals week starting on the first day of the semester. The grades you make in the beginning of the year leading up to the stress of studying brought on the each final. The better you do in the midst of the year, the more prepared you are on the end.

3.) What do you think you learned this time around that might help you next finals week?

I learned that you truly set yourself up for finals week all year long.

Sophomore:

Cory Walker, 19, University of Central Arkansas; from Sheridan, Arkansas; Nutrition Major.

1.) How do you normally prepare for finals week?

The best way I’ve found to prepare for finals week (at least the way that works the best for me) is to eliminate as much stress as possible. I make sure I know when my finals are, where they are at, and the biggest thing is that I make sure that I study and know the subject at least 2 days before. By doing these things I get good sleep the night before and all I have to do is wake up and go take the test. I have no drowsy mind, I’m confident in my knowledge of the subject, and it makes me feel more secure when I walk in.

2.) What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with finals?

Procrastination is easily the biggest thing I struggle with. It’s so much easier to complain about not having time to study instead of making time to do it. When that happens typically I spend the whole night studying, forget certain things, and I feel less prepared for the test. That leads to stress and feeling of failure when I don’t get the grade that I desire.

3.) Do you have any advice for students firs taking finals?

There are a lot of things to tell people taking their first finals. My biggest piece of advice is this: 1.)Make sure you take advantage of all of the assignments leading up to the final. Those are more important (in most cases and classes) than the final exam is. I learned that the hard way my first year of school. 2.) Study for 2 hours, take a 30 minute break. The longer you study, the more exhausted your mind becomes, the less you retain, and the crazier you feel! 3.) Don’t get worked up over the test. Most of the time, finals aren’t as hard as we imagine them to be. 4.) Don’t lose hope. It’s just one test! Even if you don’t get the grade you want, life will go on. (Again, I learned that one from experience.)

Junior:

Jordan Balentine, 22, University of Central Arkansas; from Bryant, Arkansas; Public Relations major, Marketing minor.

1.) How do you normally prepare for finals?

When I actually have test finals, I like to make flash cards to help me study. I usually start flash cards a few days before the test (because I’m a procrastinator) and usually put the term on one side and the facts/definition on the other side. I like to make clues to help me remember the answer.

2.) Advice for anyone first taking finals?

This year, I’m so far into my major that my finals were projects, but either way, I highly recommend starting WAY ahead of time and not waiting till last minute. my projects have been working with real life clients, creating news and press releases, as well as, media kits and infographics. My projects have been semester long projects and turn in my final revisions as my final

Senior:

Kristi Scott, 21, Hendrix College; from League City, Texas; Psychology Major, Sociology Minor

1.) How do you normally prepare for finals?

Throughout the semester, I write potential questions professors may ask on a test and when it comes time for finals, I typically transfer those questions and major terms into Quizlet flashcards. I also make up a ton of pneumonics so that concepts stand out in my memory. When it comes time to study, I go to a quiet place, listen to classical music, and set a 60-minute timer to quiz myself over what I’ve just read. Unfortunately, I always drastically over caffeinate with Starbucks canned espressos.

2.) Advice for anyone first taking finals?

If you are taking finals for the first time, I definitely recommend getting as much sleep as possible. Without proper sleep, it’s very easy to get down on yourself and overdramatize the weight of a test grade. If you study well in advanced and go to office hours whenever you need help or reassurance, you will do great.

Professor:

Kateryna Ligon, Associate Professor of Business at Central Baptist College

1.) What recommendations do you have for students who are preparing to take finals?

Make sure to attend final review class, most likely you will be given a study guide. Take it seriously and review class material. Do not stay up late the night before exam. Allow yourself a night of good sleep before the finals. Pray while [studying] and before the final; ask God to empower you to gain and retain the new knowledge and do well on the final. During the final, relax and believe in your skills.

2.) What are some trends you’ve seen through the years that work well for students?

Final review and study guide give[s] students [a] plan of action and guide their time management before the final. Critical thinking and practical application of [the] material helps retain more information than just book memorization.

3.) What are finals like for your side of the desk? What’s your experience through the years with this time of the school year?

It is a busy time, students hardly can wait to get their final exams results back; however [this] impatience puts more pressure on the teacher. Students should work with their teacher and in class during the semester, which will provide more confidence for them during final exam. Students’[s] involvement in the class and full awareness of their grade throughout the semester will benefit a student and a teacher.

For me, balancing an essay and multiple choice questions format is always challenging, but I believe it provides [a] better picture of students’s knowledge and exam preparedness. Essay answers are always time consuming to grade. This semester I used a sole essay format final exam for Business Communications class; mixed format final for Management and Marketing classes, and a multiple choice format for International Business class. I am pleased with results; CBC students worked hard and earned some good grades, but most importantly, I believe students were challenged, engaged, and inspired by the information covered in my classes and by reminder of God’s love and guidance.