Stressed studying

Iowa State students prepare for final exams to wrap up an unusual semester.

This week, Iowa State students are taking their final exams for class before they go on Winter Break.

Final examinations are taking on different formats and adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are being administered online, while some classes will not be taking a final exam.

While many classes are completing their exams online, many of the university’s exam policies remain the same as past semesters.

“Final exams in courses of two or more credits may not be given at a time that differs from the exam as scheduled by the registrar,” the Office of the Registrar wrote on their website.

The Office of the Registrar gives allotted times for all classes to hold exams. The complete schedule of exams can be found here

Last week was Prep Week at Iowa State. Prep Week is designed and structured so students can prepare for exams and finish their semester well. During Prep Week, no exams can be scheduled and certain student activities cannot take place.

The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost released a statement that highlights the main elements of Prep Week.

“For each fall and spring semester, the last full week of classes before final examinations is designated as Prep Week," The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost wrote on their website. "The intent of this policy is to establish a one-week period of substantial and predictable study time for undergraduate students. During the Prep Week period, regular lectures are expected to continue, including the introduction of new content, as deemed appropriate by the instructor."

The health guidelines that were implemented this semester to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have also affected normal testing expectations. The ISU Test Centers said they do not allow paper tests for any classes taking in-person exams to contain infection risks.

Student studying

Iowa State students can utilize the Academic Success Center's services to aid in finals preparation.

The Iowa State Academic Success Center (ASC) has offered many services to students this semester to help boost their study skills and understanding of their courses. The Academic Coaching Program, the Supplemental Instruction Program and tutoring services are resources Iowa State students can take advantage of throughout any semester.

“The goal of coaching is to promote an individual’s self-efficacy and confidence during their time at ISU,” the ASC wrote on their website. "Coaching is provided year round, including in the summer term for NO cost."

The Academic Coaching Program helps students to build their note-taking, studying and efficiency skills so they can be successful all semester long.

The Supplemental Instruction program though the ASC organizes study groups for students in particular courses to build connections with peers and improve their understanding in a group setting. Students can also utilize the tutoring program. To learn more about the programs, visit the ASC’s website.

Finals examinations will continue throughout the week until the semester ends Wednesday. Final grades are due at 2:15 p.m. Dec. 9. Coursework for the additional winter term begins Dec. 14 and ends Jan. 21. The spring semester starts Jan. 25 and ends May 6.

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