Campus prepares for the storm of testing


Chris Chard

Tiffany Martin in the Core before finals week.

Charles Powell

Between holiday shopping and plans to get away, the Los Medanos College community needs to go over another sort of list — the finals schedule— and hoping for nice results.

LMC student Sade Browne said she has planned out her final schedule by affixing it to the binder she always carries and is using it to map out how she will study. Browne’s approach to finals is to avoid cramming by preparing for the finals two days ahead of time and then reviewing what she has studied on the day of the final.

Browne’s approach is similar to what Student Life Coordinator Demetria Lawrence said she used when she was making her way through college.

“I planned out what I needed to cover, reviewed all my class notes and did a summary,” said Lawrence.

She added she would also go over what was going to be covered on the final, so she could focus more on that subject material.

In addition to the scholastic aspects Lawrence said it was important to focus on staying healthy during finals by making sure to get enough sleep, take breaks while studying, eat right and get exercise.

“I think students overlook their own self-care,” she said. “It is important to take the time to recuperate mentally and physically.”

Speech Professor Kasey Gardner seconded Lawrence on the importance of getting enough sleep and believed focusing is another key component to getting good test results.

“When I studied for finals I felt limiting distractions was the most important… turning off my cell phone and stop returning emails,” said Gardner.

He added that his challenging subject was math, but by devoting as much time as he could to it in the form of practice questions and tests, when it came time to take the final he was ready.

LMC student Austin Murchison likened the finals to the last leg of a race and sees it as a time when it is critical to finish strong.

“Finals, all I can say is study, study, study – especially being a science major, if you slack off at the end you might not make it through,” said Murchison. “It basically sums up all you did during the semester.”

To him it is crucial to make sure the material is understood and the key concepts are locked in before test time.

One key to understanding material is to be able to recall it.

LMC Math Professor Mara Landers said reading something over and over or writing out a formula several times helps her to be able to remember them.

LMC student Micheal Mikolaczyk’s advice for fellow students might be a bit too late for some, but will be worth keeping in mind for next semester’s finals season.

“Don’t wait till the week before to start studying.”

The finals schedule is posted online at in the A-Z index under final exam schedule, around campus and in the fall schedule.

Students looking for guided study-time will still have access to many of the college’s various labs.

The Math Lab located in Room Ma 102 will have its usual hours. The Center for Academic Support located in Room CO 300 hours are changing to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to assist those who are looking to put finishing touches on essays or other study tips. On Dec. 5 the center held a study slam event, which gave students an extra bit of time with tutors according to Reading and Writing Consultant Joseph Martinez.

The Biology Lab located in Science Room SC 103 hours will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will only be open on Monday, Dec. 10.

Students should call other labs to make sure of hours.