With the end of the semester approaching quickly, many students are beginning to feel the strain of finals week. The last couple of weeks of the semester are typically filled with many projects, papers and tests for students.
Beginning with the fall semester of 2010, students noticed changes in the usual Auburn University final exam schedule. Final exams were typically spread over a two week period beginning on Thursday of one week and ending on Wednesday of the next. This schedule led commencement ceremonies to occur the following weekend.
With the new final exam schedule, students are now taking all of their finals the same week. This spring semester, Auburn University has allowed for two study and reading days occurring the Thursday and Friday before exams begin this coming Monday, May 2.
The study and reading days are meant for students to have time to prepare for their finals without the strain of attending classes. However, due to the bad weather the South experienced in early January, the University has made a few changes to their original academic calendar. Professors were given the option to reserve rooms on either of these two study and reading days. This option would give the professors the opportunity to make up for lost class time caused by classes being cancelled at the start of the semester.
Few professors have chosen to take this option which leaves students the extra time to prepare for their finals. The University's exam schedule is prepared years in advance. Exams are scheduled based on the classes regularly scheduled time to avoid timing conflicts.
One of the problems that many students face during this stressful time is where to study. The Ralph Brown Draughhon Library is a very popular place for students to study. The library is open 24 hours a day beginning at 1p.m. the day before finals. The Student Government Association also helps students cramming and pulling all nighters with study breaks at 1 a.m. every night during finals week. The organization provides donuts and juice to students at no cost.
Other buildings on campus also have different hours for finals week. The Student Center stays open 24 hours a day as well, opposed to their regular hours of closing at midnight. Freshman Matt Holt said that during his first semester of finals he chose to study at the Student Center. "There are plenty of rooms to reserve for study groups. Also, the Student Center is no where near as packed as the library tends to be during finals," Holt said.
Typically the first few days of finals are the busiest for the library. It is not uncommon to see students who are studying while laying between aisles of books or tucked away in far corners of the library.
Along with the regular study places on campus, some students choose to go off campus to coffee shops or even to leave Auburn all together for peace and quiet. Rising senior, Chrisavi Grimes said, "My freshman year I went with one of my best friends to our family friend's lake house in Eufaula. I had no service and no distractions. I was able to study in peace and quiet. That semester I made better grades on my finals than any other semester I've been at Auburn."
Students have many options for studying in the best environment possible. The first couple of semesters of final exams can be times of trial and error for what works best for each individual. For more information on hours and final exam schedules check Auburn University's website.