5 Tips for AUA Students Getting Ready for Final Exams5 min read
As the fall semester draws to a close and classes end, all activities at the American University of Armenia (AUA) are geared towards preparing for final exams. For many students, good planning and effective preparation can be a challenge especially with a packed schedule of back-to-back exams. Though some prefer to study at home, most students take advantage of the ample study spaces available on campus to prepare individually or in groups. Whereas every student’s learning pace and path to success are different, the multiple resources available at AUA are equally accessible to everyone. All AUA faculty are supportive and very approachable, whether in person or virtually. The study spaces and vast resources available at the AGBU Papazian Library are sure to meet every student’s needs. For those requiring additional assistance to cross the semester finish line, the AUA Math and Writing Center is yet another resource for specialized assistance. Below are a few tips to get you organized and reach success. Good luck and don’t stress!
Do not hesitate to embrace available resources
At AUA, you are always encouraged to ask questions, approach your professor to get clarification on a question, or ask for advice on a topic. Though sometimes you hesitate to ask for help and are tempted to study on your own, taking advantage of the openness at AUA will be advantageous to you and will lead to your progress. Asking others, including your peers, is not a sign of weakness or sluggishness. Dedicated help is there to assist you on your way to success.
Anna Aghlamazyan, coordinator of the Math and Writing Center, recounts: “There was a student who had a 4.0 GPA, and she was the most frequent visitor of our Center. There is no such thing as a weak student. Students think that only weak students come” The Center is for AUA students to get help from experts who are there for that purpose. Getting assistance from the right source is very encouraging and enlightening. In that process, you may even end up discovering something new in yourself. If you have not stopped by the Math and Writing Center before, now may be the right time to visit them, seek help when you feel overwhelmed or challenged with a specific question.
Another frequent stop in this period is the AGBU Papazian Library. “The visits are more frequent during the finals, and we are a great source of support,” says Academic Support Librarian, Araz Margossian. “During finals week, we organize information sessions to tell our students about our resources, or tell them about available subject-specific tutorials or portals. The library is open till midnight and ready to accommodate everyone.” Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to study, or seeking additional resources, the AGBU Papazian Library has it — books, study rooms, online sources, and friendly librarians. Even if you are studying at home, remote access to the digital library offers you a wide range of reference books and databases. You may even reserve a study space online. “The biggest benefit for users of the library is that everything is offered in the same place. Here we have books, electronic materials, general study space, as well as a collaborative study space, also known as the Aquarium!” adds Margossian. “Hardcover books are also available online. If someone has checked out a book, we try to accommodate the request with the electronic version. A large majority of books may be checked out from the library, except for those reference books that have been placed on reserve.”
Make use of unfamiliar equipment and be open to new information
At the AGBU Papazian Library, students are able to get settled in a study mode in the privacy and comfort offered by the environment. It is up to you to discover your preferred quiet spot. This is the right place for many to fully immerse themselves in an available study carrel somewhat secluded from others in the adjacent carrels.
The place for more interaction and knowledge sharing is the Math and Writing Center, says Director of Student Affairs, Mariam Mikhaylova. There students raise a variety of topics for broader discussion and get motivated with information across disciplines and subjects. “The workshops organized by our Center are not only about math and writing, but cover a variety of areas, from communication to writing emails, to love (mythology) or music, exposing students to different ideas and augmenting the span of their knowledge. That’s really the best thing!”
Take care of your health
Are the details not making sense anymore? Are you beginning to get confused as you continue to study long hours? When was the last time you had a calm demeanor? Have you asked yourself why you feel so uneasy? “The best advice I can give to students is to get adequate sleep. Because that is sometimes the part that they tend to neglect; being well-rested and calm, will make it easier to test better. Students tend to panic, especially during timed exams, and they spend an hour doing an outline!” comments Dr. Mica Hilson, associate professor and chair of the English and Communications (EC) program. A great way to feel relaxed is to take a shower, listen to music, and create a calm atmosphere. Be around like-minded people who support you and care for your mental health. A clear mind will shift you in the right direction to do better, and make you feel more positive about what you are trying to achieve.
Consider studying in groups
Working on your own usually means that you will have fewer distractions. But, it’s worth looking at the alternative. Friends and a positive atmosphere often provide you with a chance to rethink approaches to studying, and develop new learning perspectives. A friend with whom you are studying may give you advice and a new perspective with regard to a solution that you hadn’t considered yet before. Be visible to others, and let others know about your availability, and they will not hesitate to approach you. Your friend doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same major. That can help you get honest feedback on your ideas and grasp of topics. Quiz yourself with them and take notes during exam preparation. “I think group sessions can be really helpful, because you can divide the labor over the group sessions, use it to quiz one another on things. If you don’t understand a concept, there will be someone who understands, and who can explain it to you. This is the smartest way,” asserts Dr. Hilson.
Get organized in the start
When planning your exam preparation, think of a time when you did great on a task or an event where you excelled, not necessarily related to your university life or academic experience. Learning occurs in all facets of life. The process of learning starts at a very early age. Remember the first time you learned how to cook following the instructions and using the exact ingredients. At first, you made sure you had all that you needed, ingredients and utensils. The same applies when preparing for the finals. You must plan ahead in order to move forward with comfort. Last-minute preparation just helps memorize a few bullet points, but this will not give you a thorough grasp of the subject matter. You will be easily overwhelmed with the exam questions.
“If there is one important piece of advice I should give about using our Math and Writing Center is to come early and to come often,” mentions Aghlamazyan. “There is nothing that you need that you wouldn’t find here.” She emphasizes that organizational skills are the most important when it comes to attending classes or preparing for exams. You will find the answers to questions that you think you could not find. “Be very detailed. Remember, for some teachers, the final exam is worth 30% of the final grade; in my class it’s only 10%. I like to have a lot of different assessments. Participation is more important in my class,” concludes Dr. Hilson.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.