How Rice Students Prepare for Finals

Because finals at Rice vary so much by discipline, each Rice student prepares differently for her end-of-semester exams. For some, actual tests are far less common than lengthy final papers, whereas for others, an exam can be expected in every course. The Rice Honor Code also allows professors to opt out of traditional in-class exams in favor of take-home ones, meaning students are able to work from wherever they are most comfortable, be that the library or their dorm room.

Kylie Burgess, a Kinesiology and Psychology double major, told HC Rice the following about how she prepares for finals: "For classes that have final exams, I make sure not to cram during the semester and instead spread out my studying for each exam. That way my retention of the material is better in the long term, and I don't have to study that much more for the final."

Vi Nguyen, a Computer Science major, also emphasized the importance of not waiting until the last minute to begin studying: "The number one thing that helps me during finals week is creating a study/work plan. I figure out what projects I need to complete or exams I need to study for, and then schedule time every day to do a little bit towards each big thing, so I don't get overwhelmed."

Finally, Ronnie McLaren, a Psychology major with a minor in Neuroscience, reminded us to have confidence in our knowledge of the material: "I think the main thing for me is to remember that just by being in the class all semester, I have been preparing for the final. I don't generally do any cramming or anything, I just look over my notes to refresh my memory and if there was anything from the course I didn't understand, I try to figure it out."

Throughout all the variations in final exam type and preferred study method, one constant remains—that quintessentially Rice sense of community. Whether your own personal community comes from your residential college or your classes, just remember you aren't alone this exam season.