Students cramming for exams

University of Otago students study in the main library last week.PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON
University of Otago students study in the main library last week.PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON
University of Otago libraries are full as exams get under way this week.

Semester one exams started yesterday and will end on June 23.

During that time, 12,245 students will take 360 centrally administered exams, a university spokeswoman said.

That amounts to 33,940 centrally administered exam sittings.

The most common exam for first-year students were the key health science papers — cell and molecular biology (CELS191), chemistry (CHEM191), human body systems (HUBS191) and biological physics (PHSI191).

Of those, CHEM191 was the biggest, with 1985 students.

Otago University Students’ Association president Michaela Waite-Harvey said campus was quiet as students studied for their exams.

"In exam season you can always feel the stress in the air as you go through the library," she said.

University exams were a step up from National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) for first-year students and were the first hurdle in their tertiary studies.

Many students experienced "first-year fear" and reached out to the association for advice.

Most were in regards to where their exam was being held and what stationery they were allowed to take.

Sometimes exam rules looked a little scary but they were not as strict as they seemed, she said.

Lecturers and exam supervisors did their best to prepare and support students during the period.

The association supplied extra bean bags and hot drinks for when students needed a break from their studies.

Ms Waite-Harvey was impressed with the communication from the university as to what would happen if there was a rise in Covid-19 Alert Levels during the exam period.

"A lot of students are well-prepared this time and a lot of lecturers have put in a lot of contingency plans if we were to shift levels really suddenly before exams.

"I think everyone has got as much information as they need and are just trying to cram now."


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