It’s that time of the semester again. For most colleges and universities, finals week is right around the corner, and students are feeling the pressure. Finals bear a weight on all students. There are students who need high marks on a final exam to achieve their desired grade in that class. Then, there others who have struggled in a class all year, and their grade on the final exam will determine whether they pass or fail the class.
Now if you are an engineering student, then you are definitely sweating bullets. Finals week is simply hell because you are most likely taking some combination of calculus, physics, and engineering classes. These classes have been taking turns beating you up all semester and now the time has come where they have come together to take one last punch. But as Rocky Balboa said, “You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Here are few tips for younger engineering students on how to survive finals week.
1. Know when to use integrals and when to use derivatives
By finals week, most students, if they had not already, have realized just how important calculus is in physics and engineering. Hence, it is key to know when to take a derivative and when to integrate. Doing the opposite of what is needed to solve a problem may end up with you getting an equation for displacement instead of for acceleration.
2. Buy Tissues
Somebody is going to cry. It may be you or classmate crying because of how hard a final was or a professor who crying tears of joy from seeing his students suffer as much as he or she did when they were in engineering school. It is better to be prepared than to find yourself in a situation where you have to use the rough bathroom paper towels to dry up those tears.
3. Know the equations
Some professors may let you use the FE Reference Handbook, some will allow an equation sheet, and the evil ones will make you memorize them. Knowing the equations and how to manipulate them could potentially help you solve the problem even if you do not fully understand the concept.
4. Pray for partial credit and a curve
Let’s face it. No matter how much you study, it is impossible to remember every single thing from every single class you are taking. With this in mind, you will encounter questions that you are only partially sure on how to solve or have no idea at all on where to start. Partial credit and a friendly curve can come in clutch… if your professor is nice enough to give you these things.
5. Have the fail/success memes ready
You should be ready to text your friends after your finals. Memes like the baby with the clutched fist meme are good for celebrating a potentially good final. Meanwhile, the “this is fine” meme is crucial in order to seek consoling from your friends after you completely bombed a final.
Well there you have it. Those are my tips to my fellow engineering student. Good luck to all and may the curve be in your favor.