May 4, 2004

Semester Nears End; Students Make Study Plans

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As final exam week approaches, students have begun to study as they scramble to finish their assignments.

Cornell students of all years and all colleges each have a unique ritual that he or she follows in order to prepare for finals.

During the days leading up to an exam and throughout the week, students must find a way to plan their time in order to prepare for multiple exams given in a short period of days. Creating a schedule, written or remembered, becomes necessary.

“I keep everything in my head. For example, go to the gym now, study later, ” said Brian Sanders ’06, describing his informal mental system of time management that provides him sufficient organization.

Stephanie Gil ’06, on the other hand, employs a written schedule to plan her study hours before exams.

“I study in order of what [exams are] coming first,” said Tiffany Chieu ’07. She further explained that she balances out her priorities according to how she is doing, or what grades she has been earning in her classes.

To stay alert throughout long hours of studying, students have a variety of snack and drink preferences.

Chieu recommends frappuccinos, big bottles of diet peach Snapple and soy chips.

“Swedish fish!” Laura Taylor ’07 added upon hearing Chieu’s preferences.

Sanders told a story of a friend pulling an all-nighter of studying, while drinking 3 liters of Pepsi.

“Red Bull,” Kai Ang ’05 divulged as one of his secrets to studying. The morning of an exam brings a new set of rituals as the test time nears.

“The clothes I study in, I have to take the test in those clothes,” Ang said.

He added that his method had the potential to become unpleasant as it has led to him to wear the same outfit for four days in a row. Some students do not sleep at all after studying into the early hours of the exam morning.

“My friends stay up all night to make sure they don’t sleep through the exam,” said Michelle Diamond ’07.

Diamond always gets coffee immediately before an exam session in order to stay alert. Calling her parents right before tests helps Gil feel prepared, while Dino Monioudis ’04 prefers to take showers prior to leaving his residence.

Listening to music helps Chieu relax as she walks to her exams and waits for them to begin.

Students in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning have a different schedule than those students in other colleges as the end of a semester approaches. While there are no formal final exams, architects must finish a studio project such as a building design, the culmination of work from the entire semester, in the final three weeks of classes.

Saul Uranofsky ’04, an AAP student, requires “lots of coffee and cigarettes” during these final weeks. He characterized the atmosphere as “pretty intense.”

Archived article by Katie Miller
Sun Staff Writer