Picking up from last time –
Going into the final, we got an overview of how we were doing. I didn’t totally know what to expect. Part of our grade was on class participation, and what we added to the discussion board.
I wondered if my thoughts were smart enough for this scary Harvard class, but sure enough, I got full points for class discussion! I was in a good place going into the final, only having missed one available point until then (from the midterm). The final was weighted at 50%, so it was pretty important that I do well.
One thing that was nice was that we didn’t learn anything new after somewhere around Thanksgiving! And we didn’t take the test until December 18th (or 19th). So, almost a month was spent just prepping for the final!
In some cases, I could’ve seen this maybe being annoying to some people… If they’d been super on top of all of it, and they were ready to rock the final right then, they might be worried about losing stuff.
For me, I cherished the time to re-read things I’d read hastily, or articles I’d missed. I always read enough to write on the discussion board, but I’ll admit that sometimes an article or two was missed with you know, general life craziness. (Oof! Shhh, don’t tell anyone.)
It also helped that I didn’t have to work at all during the final week before the final exam! I re-watched lectures, wrote out more concise notes from the notes I’d already been taking through the year.
Our TAs offered three different review sessions. In the session, they basically said to be prepared to talk about anything from the semester. So, I reviewed and reviewed.
There were some pros and some cons to being so far away from where class was actually happening. One pro was that I got a 24-hour period to take my exam (anywhere in a 24-hour period from 6pm Eastern on the 18th – 19th). I liked having a bit of freedom, as opposed to having to take the test at 6pm at Harvard.
However, I’m a person who generally is better and more alert in the later hours. So, a 6pm test would’ve probably been pretty rad.
Also, there was talk about the class going out together to meet each other and discuss everything we’d learned after the test. So, it was sort of a bummer to miss out on that.
Plus, the people who take the test in person get their tests graded quicker. You win some, you lose some, I suppose.
There was one more small advantage to being on the other side of the country, though. And I will get to it next time.