Students talking graphic

While students prepare for final exams, which officially begin Monday, Dec. 14, many are facing an unconventional situation similar to the spring semester.

Penn State’s remote learning period began on Nov. 30 after Thanksgiving break due to the coronavirus pandemic, causing a change in the way students study for finals week.

Nonetheless, some Penn State students said they are dealing with this change of scenery fairly well.

Cheyenne Livelsberger will take her finals from home, but has some reservations about the online aspect of the exams.

“One thing that is really different about preparing for finals this year is the fact that all of my finals are going to be virtual,” Livelsberger (sophomore-advertising) said. “The fact that they are all online does make me a little nervous because a lot of my teachers haven’t been giving us a lot of time to take exams.”

Livelsberger believes it will be hard to put more effort in when not physically at school.

“I’m also concerned I won’t study as hard since they are virtual, it doesn’t seem as important but it is,” Livelsberger said.

Livelsberger said that for her to study better, she paces herself throughout the week.

“Some tips [I have] for taking finals is to gradually study throughout the week until the exam. Do not cram study the night before because it is going to be harder to recall all the information,” Livelsberger said. “Studying a little bit everyday is a lot easier, and you will recall more information.”

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Sydney Chiat is taking her final exams from home as well, but is not too concerned.

“I am not too worried about taking them from home,” Chiat (junior-early childhood and elementary education) said.

Chiat said in a year full of changes, she has adjusted, which has prepared her well for finals.

“If there is anything I’ve learned this year, it’s to adapt to what you are given,” Chiat said. “Just know that you are not alone and reach out to professors if you need help.”

Chait suggested treating finals season like any other when preparing for exams this winter.

“We are still getting an education and need to be tested on the same level as everyone in years past,” Chiat said.

Despite some distractions at home, Farraz Haider said he feels ready to take his finals.

“Although there is a lot of noise at my house, I feel just as focused, if not more so at home than at school,” Haider (sophomore-chemistry) said.

Haider said he has been using resources provided by his classes and the school in order to better prepare to take his final exams.

“I am mainly doing practice problems, going to workshops and meetings provided by the classes, and watching review videos,” Haider said. “This is not much of a change from the previous semesters.”

Haider also said this is the same structure from the situation last spring when students took their finals from home, so he expects the process to be “relatively the same."

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