Final Exams vs. In person

As students take another week of final exams, students come to discover the pros and cons of having less restrictions online vs in person. (Graphic by Samantha Tonarelli).

As students enter another round of online final exams, they have come to discover the pros and cons of it. The experience of taking exams online has proven to be different than taking them in-person.  

Daniyel Wiggins (junior, English) feels exams taken during a Zoom session are the most nerve-wracking. Students who have had synchronous exams on Zoom have felt the pressure increased because they feel as if they are constantly being watched as they take their exams.  

Andrew Boaru (senior, Biology) misses the in-person exams. “I prefer the in-person exams a little more because it actually helps me focus better.” In addition to maintaining his focus, Boaru mentions being able to hold last-minute cram sessions with other classmates prepared them better for the exam, stating it to be easier to meet people in-person than on Zoom. 

However, many students seem to find open-book testing a relieving approach to online finals. 

“More teachers have become relaxed with open-book testing, which does relieve a little bit of stress,” Boaru added. 

As seen in a poll on the Signal Instagram, 67% of students preferred taking exams online, while 33% preferred in person. Students taking their exams online are finding the extended deadlines and open-book style testing as big stress relievers during the pandemic. 

Joshua Rashe (sophomore, Psychology), who has taken more asynchronous exams, has experienced little to no stress with his online exams. “The difficulties these final exams usually would uphold are significantly lower than what they would have been,” observed Rashe. 

Rashe expresses his gratitude towards the professors’ resources to help the students complete their assignments and exams. However, his dependence on these resources does hinder his learning. 

“I feel I have been thoroughly abusing the abundant resources given so much that it has affected my ability to learn effectively.”  

Synchronous or asynchronous exams lead to very different experiences in test taking, such as different preparations, and Rashe has found he doesn’t prepare as much as he used to before. 

Online exams have their pros and cons. Some students still feel the same pressure of exams from pre-pandemic, and others have never felt more relieved since they’ve gone virtual. 

“I believe that the resources given to us have been beneficial but vital. However, we will soon see how that will affect our future performance when we attend classes in-person once again,” said Rashe. 

Like the rest of our classes, the process of taking exams has significantly changed since moving online, and only time will tell how we address exams differently in the future.

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