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Top 10 things to expect for finals season, online style

Zoom classes are wrapping up, and it’s time to prepare for finals week — that may sound standard, but there’s a catch

<p>Anna Mason is a Top 10 writer for The Cavalier Daily.</p>

Anna Mason is a Top 10 writer for The Cavalier Daily.

1. Zoom study sessions

Gather all of your friends from your classes this semester — it's time for a virtual study session. Rather than having to worry about renting a library room to study in as a group or brave the noise on Clem 2, you have a whole private chat room in Zoom. Just share your screen and go through some flashcards — you guys got this.

2. Adjusted schedules for exams

Be sure to check your email inbox and the exam schedules in your Collab sites. With the shift to online classes, many professors have needed to adjust the way they are running their exams. Some have new time limits or days for completion and others have makeup times to ease the issues of contradicting exam times or time-zone differences. Be sure to catch up and be aware of any and all adjustments to plans you may need to make.

3. Open-note exams

Quite a few professors are looking to make exceptions to regular exam policies as they will not be able to be proctored as usual. To keep exams fair for all students, many professors have shifted their exams to be open-note and open-book. When taking an open-note exam with a time limit, take advantage of your notes but don’t let them monopolize your time. Organize your notes prior to exam time to make sure you know where the important information is. This is an advantage, but don’t rely on having them to solve everything — you still need to study. 

4. Finding a quiet spot to help deal with library withdrawals

This might just be me, but I miss studying in Clark or on Clem 2. At home it is going to be super important to find places where you can study without distractions. Hide your phone from yourself and hide yourself from your siblings. Don’t study in your bed — you might fall asleep. It is helpful to have a space you dedicate solely for doing school work. 

5. Snacking during exams — and missing meals

A 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. exam seems almost normal at school — just snack before and after, have a big dinner early or stop by somewhere open late after your exam. At home it’s a whole new ball game since family dinners easily fall between these hours and your family may be worried about whether you’ll eat with everyone. Just remember, you have your entire pantry at your disposal, and no one to tell you not to eat during your exam. So feel free to snack away to your heart’s content.

6. Explaining your study habits to your family

Finding your light on at three or four in the morning might be concerning for some parents, even when it would have been all too normal to study that late when you and your roommates are cramming for the same exam. It is going to be super exciting to explain why you are nocturnal during finals week, especially if the middle of the night is the only time your house is quiet. Remember to keep the Keurig on and the midnight snacks rolling for the week. 

7. Taking naps to “celebrate”

What is a more refreshing way to relieve the stress you had built up over an exam? Since there is nothing better to do, close your computer and crawl under the covers. Take a quick nap to refresh and then get ready to get back on the grind and study for the next exam you have. It’s not the same as an ice cream run or a night with your friends, but you can still eat ice cream and maybe FaceTime your friends after you nap. 

8. Finding anything and everything to distract you

Throw out your phone — if you don’t, I promise there will be at least 1,000 things you will “need” to check while you’re studying for an exam. Don’t make studying by yourself any harder than it might be. Try a new distraction — after all, there is nothing like staring at a blank wall. When there is no one around in a library or in your apartment to hold you accountable, studying will become a seemingly impossible task. Nevertheless, try to limit distractions and stay focused.. 

9. April moving at a crazy fast speed

I don’t know how many people have noticed, but we are over halfway through April. Finals week is approaching at an alarming speed, and it is important that everyone register this fact. Online school is making the days go by faster, and this is going to make it seem like exams are sneaking up on us more than previous semesters. Do your best and get ahead of this phenomenon.

10. Attending office hours via Zoom

This one is important. While you don’t have your professors reminding you in-person about the office hours they are holding for finals, it is important that you look for their new hours. Most professors are still holding virtual office hours and TAs are as well. If you want to review or have questions, make sure to take advantage of your more loosely scheduled classes to attend office hours and make sure you are prepared for your finals. 

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