With Tuesday marking the last day of classes of the fall semester, finals season is officially upon Cornellians, with many students experiencing exams for the first time after last year’s primarily virtual testing schedule.
Amanda Del Campo ’25 is a first-year student with three finals in three days Mathematics 1920: Multivariable Calculus for Engineers, Engineering 1160: Modern Structures, and Chemistry 2090: Engineering General Chemistry. While having consecutive tests can be a source of stress, Del Campo said she is making an effort to look on the positive side.
“I get my worst final over with first, my second final is the easiest and so I have some time to study for my chem final, which is the last one,” Del Campo said.
Despite trying to make the best of the situation, Del Campo said having the exam times –– which are set by the University registrar each semester –– spread out would give her more time to study for each final.
“I wouldn’t have to decide which final I have to prioritize more,” Del Campo said.
Nathan Vogt ’25 has two exams — Computer Science 2800: Discrete Structures and Linear Mathematics 2940: Algebra for Engineers — back to back, but this tight scheduling is something he prefers.
“This is the ideal schedule,” he said. “I like having them bunched up and not spread out. Personally, I like it, but I know for others it’s stressful.”
Josh Chung ’25 also has a tight finals schedule, having his Introductory Biology 1350: Cell and Developmental Biology and Chemistry 2070: General Chemistry I exams on the same day. He also had a biology prelim on Monday, a day before the last day of classes.
Chung said that it would’ve been nice to have a two to three day break to give him more time to study for each of his finals and have more of a mental rest
“Having to study for a lot of days straight … it’s a little tiring,” he said.
While Chung felt that his attention was pulled away from studying for finals by his late prelim, Jordan Han ’25 felt a similar way –– but about her assignments due before finals.
“Instead of being able to study right now, I’m busy doing the assignments for classes,” Han said. “I feel like the assignments do help to some extent, but I think that it’s still long and I would like more time to study.”
Eda Gunal ’25 has a five-day break between her Biology 1140: Foundations of Biology final on Dec. 12 and her Evolutionary Biology and Ecology 1540: Introductory Oceanography final on Dec. 17. Generally, she said she’s pleased with the way her exams have been scheduled.
“I think it’s good for being able to separate my studying for my two different finals,” Gunal said. “I don’t have to overlap the studying and get confused because I’m learning too much information at the same time.”
However, Gunal adds that she’s annoyed that her Oceanography exam is on the last day because she wanted to leave campus early like some students have been able to as break begins.
“I’m going to try to finish my final as soon as possible so I can leave as soon as possible,” Gunal said.
However, she doesn’t blame Prof. Bruce Monger, earth and atmospheric sciences, as she knows the scheduled final exam wasn’t his fault.
“He apologized the exam was so late to the class,” Gunal said. “Even though it’s an inconvenience … I don’t think students have the right to be mad at him. The amount of students in that class makes it really hard to make any accommodations so everyone has to take it at that time.”