Final Exams and Semester Projects – You’ve Got This!

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 1.41.59 PM Final exam week creeps up on all of us (students and teachers alike). Before we know it, all of those projects, presentations, and tests are due and we head into a frenzy of work to round out the semester. We’ll all get through it, though it may not seem like it during the crush.

To make your survival seem more likely, there are some sensible and easy steps you can take to get through this period of intense work with a healthy body, mind, and (hopefully) transcript.

Take care of your physical self. Don’t neglect the life of the body for the life of the mind. It’s tempting to survive the week on Cheetos, Red Bull, and M&Ms while studying or working in the studio every minute that you don’t have a class meeting. All of your faculty probably did it a time or to as well, but it’s not a good idea. Research has shown clearly that our minds work best when our bodies are functioning well.  So, try eat on a regular schedule and work on having a healthy diet that feeds your brain and your body. Don’t skip the protein and live on carbs for a week.  While you are planning that eating schedule, be sure to put in enough time to sleep.  Studies suggest that we actually lose IQ points when we don’t get enough sleep. Do you really want to go into exams with a lower IQ? I don’t think so. Pulling an all-nighter to study for that exam is less likely to result in a good grade than studying over a few days and then getting at least 6-7 hours of sleep before the exam. Finally, don’t forget to get some exercise.  Even if you can’t find time to go to the gym or take a run, a brisk walk with a friend or classmate or a session of yoga can help clear the mind and calm anxiety.

When studying, focus on understanding, not memorization. Memorizing can be a successful strategy – sometimes – but it doesn’t result in real long-term learning and the slightest glitch in the process can cause a brain dump that leaves you staring at the test sheet in horror. How many times have you memorized a list of terms  using an acronym only to arrive at the test to find that you remember the acronym, but not what the letters represent? I know I have graded exams that have little acronyms in the margins, but the student couldn’t come up with the actual terms. Reread the material and your notes. Think about what the concepts are about and how they relate to other things in your life. Do practice exams or problems and think about why the answers are what they are and how you reached them. Write out your understandings of the concepts/ideas to help reinforce what you know. Do this over the course of several days, not in one night, and you gradually begin to add the material to your own body of knowledge, rather than just placing a series of memorized factoids in your short term memory, where they will disappear right after the exam. A final study strategy is to talk to others about the material. There is little as helpful to learning as teaching. As you teach someone else how to calculate the first derivative, you will really “get it” yourself.

Give yourself a break before the exam/presentation. Don’t study right up until the instant the test starts (or practice until seconds before the presentation, or work on your painting until the moment of the critique). This will only create additional stress and you’ll remember words or ideas you crammed in those last moments, but they won’t be well associated with your other knowledge and may actually get in the way. Instead, stop preparing an hour or so before the test/presentation and take some down time. Go for a walk, have a cup of tea, play with your dog. Do something that clears your mind and puts you in a relaxed state to begin the work.

Stay in the moment. Before an exam, don’t start worrying in advance about how you will do on it. Focus on learning the material in each moment and when you are taking a break, really take a break and let it go.  Worrying beforehand will not help you in your studying. Similarly, while you are taking the test, don’t focus on the grade you will get on the exam or your final course grade (or how happy or mad your parents will be or how it will affect your GPA). Read the questions carefully and think about the material and providing the best answer you can in that moment. Once the test is over, let it go.  Don’t head for the hallway and immediately start parsing your performance with your peers, or berate yourself for not doing as well as you could have, or check the answers and try to calculate your score.  Just go ahead to the next thing on your schedule and do that with full focus (whether it’s planning for the holidays or studying for another exam).

By following these tips, you’ll help yourself academically, mentally, and physically during exam week.  Good luck and good health!


Rowan University’s Holiday Week Monday, Dec. 1 – Friday, Dec. 5

Please join us as the Student Government Association’s Advancement Committee presents its first-ever Holiday Week.

Designed to bring together all members of the Rowan community at this festive time of the year, the week will include Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations, as well as the lighting of Rowan’s holiday tree, resplendent with 2,100 white lights and gold ribbons, on Monday, Dec. 1, at  7 p.m. on the Bunce Hall/Bozorth Hall quad on Route 322.

Other events, to be held in the Chamberlain Student Center unless otherwise noted, include:

Monday, Dec. 1

  • Christmas Celebration, Room 129, 8-10 p.m.
  • Ugly Sweater Day (all day)

Tuesday, Dec. 2

  • Gingerbread house decorating competition, Marketplace, noon-3 p.m.
  • Hanukkah Celebration, Room 129, Student Center, 8-10 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 3

  • Free hot chocolate, noon-3 p.m.
  • Gift wrapping, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 4

  • Toys for Tots drive, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Holiday letters and cards for heroes stationed overseas, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Kwanzaa Celebration, Room 144B, 8-10 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 5

  • Glassboro’s Annual Tree Lighting, Downtown Glassboro, 6-9 p.m.

For the Holiday Week schedule, contact

Baby Boomer Beacon: Rowan Radio Turns 50

Rowan Today News

For five full decades, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM has prided itself on playing the music that matters.

But, music isn’t all that matters.

The station has been a career springboard for generations of Glassboro State College and Rowan University students, a 24-hour training ground for deejays, journalists and producers where, since 1964, they’ve done radio live, no net, no do-overs.

Rowan Radio, which will be celebrated with a 50-year anniversary party in the Eynon Ballroom October 25, has become the place many students gravitate to on Rowan’s main campus, the same as others are drawn to the football field, the Tohill stage, the labs and libraries.

“Over the years we’ve had great successes – awards won, careers launched,” said Station Manager Derek Jones. “The station is one more place where students have the opportunity to find out who they are. If they come in and find they love it, it gives them the chance to build a portfolio with which they can launch a career.”

Indeed, lots of careers were launched via the music, sports, news and community service programming the station has become known for. Broadcasting all over southern New Jersey, parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware, the station has a potential to reach 1.3 million listeners and is the official broadcaster of the Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball team.

Jones said the station, which has stayed true to its mission of over-the-air, college radio since its founding, helped boost the careers of well-known radio personalities like Angela “Ang” Mason of 98.1 WOGL-FM in Philadelphia, Victor Sosa of 106.7 Lite FM in New York, and John Sadak, a sports broadcaster with Westwood One Radio, ESPN, and for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees AAA affiliate.

“It takes a lot of consistency on behalf of students, alumni, and the administration to keep something like this going for 50 years,” said Jones, who took to the WGLS airwaves as a student in 1998. “We may be the oldest college radio station in the region and at a time when many campus stations are being sold off or broadcasting online only, that’s a very proud distinction.”

A highlight of the golden anniversary party on the 25th will be the induction of five new members to the WGLS-FM Hall of Fame. To be honored are the late Glassboro State College President Dr. Mark Chamberlain, who was an early and strong supporter; Larry DiBona ’77, a student station manager; Alisa (Jankowitz) Hogan ’80, ’00, a former news director and award-winning producer; Karen Maser ‘79, the first female student station manager who is now a TV writer and producer; and Dr. Gregory Potter Sr. who rebuilt the station’s main studio in Bole Administration Building during the summer of 1969.

Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM has won 244 regional and national awards since 1993.

Tickets to the 50th Anniversary Celebration are $50 and include station tours, a social hour, dinner and dancing. For information, please contact the Rowan University office of Alumni Engagement, 40 N. Academy St., Glassboro, New Jersey 08028. (856) 256-5400.

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