C/O Jaeyoung Geoffrey Kang on Unsplash

Although it’s new, it should still be organized and prepared in advance
By: Belinda Tam, Contributor

As a weird semester comes to an end for everyone, exams are approaching faster than they seem. From adapting to new technology to keeping ourselves mentally healthy, this upcoming exam season is going to be a new experience for many — especially for those with exams that are being proctored.

Currently, students’ exam schedules are not being posted on Mosaic. Normally, our finalized and organized exam schedule would be posted in early November. However, Mosaic states, “there are no in-person December final exams.” Instead, exams this semester will be take-home in an online format. This shows that a new system is being implemented by the university to see results for this semester. 

With that being said, students need to be extremely organized due to the fact that exam schedules are not being posted on Mosaic. Additionally, since professors don’t have a set date for posting exam dates on Mosaic, informing students about final evaluations has also been delayed for several classes. This puts a detriment on review time for students, especially for those who have an exam on Dec. 9, the day after classes end.

With that being said, students need to be extremely organized due to the fact that exam schedules are not being posted on Mosaic. Additionally, since professors don’t have a set date for posting exam dates on Mosaic, informing students about final evaluations has also been delayed for several classes. This puts a detriment on review time for students, especially for those who have an exam on Dec. 9, the day after classes end.

Furthermore, many of my professors delayed releasing final assignment grades to students. This leads to students not knowing what their grade is when going into finals which many find frustrating. This shows that the new system is unorganized and not well thought out — leading the students to suffer the consequences. 

On a more positive note about the delay of posting evaluation details, professors are offering more flexibility with deadlines. This may be due to the fact professors don’t know each other’s testing times.

Students also have the option to have help with assistive technology with Student Accessibility Services and are encouraged to contact SAS testing for user testing. However, this still puts the responsibility on the student’s plate when it comes to asking for extensions and accommodations.

In terms of the formatting of upcoming exams, it’s definitely important to mention proctoring. On Dec. 2, an announcement was posted on Avenue concerning the tool, Respondus, being used to proctored exams.

This tool has been incorporated into Avenue with multiple links attached to the announcement including a frequently asked questions page, the privacy impact assessment report and a link to the University Technology Services HelpDesk. Links have also been given out for the McMaster Student Absence Form and Student Wellness Centre.

As the upcoming exam season approaches, students may find the following tools helpful. To state the obvious, a calendar should be at the top of your list! A calendar is obvious, but also very necessary. With a paper or online calendar, scheduling review time will be much easier.

Another obvious one is a to-do list. A to-do list will be helpful when scheduling what material to cover on which day and when you want to finish reviewing a large topic for a class.

Next, it would be a very good idea to open a document or page in a notebook to keep the details of exams in one place for easy access. This is especially important since exam information for different classes are being posted on different links. Along with all these tips, having an organized and dedicated space for you to do your work definitely helps with concentration.

As seen throughout this article, the new system is more disorganized than we would like and the university should be much more prepared than they are, but it’s important to make the best of the situation and what we have to work with.

With multiple resources available — from friends, professors and teaching assistants to external sources outside the university, students should not hesitate to reach out for support during these unprecedented times. As the semester is quickly coming to a close, although it may seem longer than previous ones, I wish everyone good luck and happy studying as they prepare for their finals!

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