The Final Push

This past week I had both of my final exams for the semester. I had two weeks to prepare for them after classes had ended, but in true Christian Leathley form, I waited until the 4 days prior to the first one to start studying.

The exams were in back-to-back days, so I had to manage my study time in a mature, organized fashion. I spent the first day collecting all of the materials I would need to ace these finals, including power point downloads and practice exams. The next day I spent a few hours at the library and then took a study break to the golf course for a quick nine holes. I spent a small amount of time studying before bed that night.

The next day I studied most of the day at the Marsh study center, which is a convenient 30-second walk from my place of residence. Despite this short distance, I had managed not to spend much time in this building this semester, as I have done most of my work in my room. I soon discovered that it was a beautiful area with many seating places and a small café if you are in need of a snack break.

I still managed to get a good night’s rest before rising at 7 am on Thursday morning to study until the final at 2:30 pm. This final was for my Movement Analysis and Control class. I entered the room with my pencil, student ID, and calculator, ready for the worst. We were seated in vertical rows, with each row being very far apart to ensure that no wandering eyes would be present during the exam. The proctor then read aloud instructions about the test, and we filled in our names and ID numbers. This was eerily similar to the dreaded standardized tests from my teenage years.

I began the exam feeling confident during the multiple-choice questions, before my focus wavered during the short answer section. Part of this class was focused on the mathematical portion of biomechanics, as were required to know how to calculate angles of force, displacement, and so on. I did my best to remember all of the equations from my studies (we were not given an equation sheet to my dismay), but could not recall one or two of the equations that happened to appear as necessary on the exam.

I eventually finished, confident that I did well enough to give me a decent overall grade in the class. The course structure here is far different from Hope College, and most American schools. During the semester, there is not much work to be done, outside of a few papers, lab reports, or shortened tests. Therefore, the finals are heavily weighed in relation to the overall class. My Movement Analysis and Control final was worth 50% of my grade. My next final, Foundations of Epidemiology, was worth a staggering 65% of the semester grade.

After a short break to ease my mind, I went right back to studying until late at night. I woke up around 6 am to try and squeeze a few more facts into my seemingly full brain before my 9:30 am exam. This exam, however, I was not too worried about, as I had done well on the 2 short tests during the semester.

I breezed right through the exam, as expected, and was home free. I now have 3 full weeks to explore more of New Zealand before I say goodbye and head back to America.

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