To help students prepare for the upcoming winter finals, Octagon staffers share tips and tricks for finals in subjects in which they’ve done well. The Octagon will be posting these how-to guides over the course of this and next week.Max Bio

Late Monday night, most sophomores will spend more time complaining about the World Cultures final rather than actually studying for it.

I’m here to tell you that there’s no reason to despair. Assuming that you put in the effort, it’s very straightforward.

Unlike other classes, you’re not left guessing exactly what type of questions will be on the test. Most of the test is, in fact, given to you.

With the 10 possible short answers and the general essay topic, you know what you’re in for.

The first key to doing well is to pay attention in class. It ensures that there’s more time for studying, instead of having to relearn the material the night before.

It may be too late for that, but there’s always next semester.

Second, make sure you write your own short answers.

Yes, I know it’s tempting to simply memorize another student’s detailed outline, but you’ll retain the information if you write out the answers.

Honestly, it’s easy for anyone to do moderately well on the short answers. Just plan out eight of them, and you’re guaranteed to be prepared for the test.

If you check with him at lunch, Dr. Baird will even critique your answers. It’s not a formal review session, but he offers it a few days before the test.

Third, understand the gist of the essay topic.

If you have trouble writing his essays, then make an outline. Otherwise, just thinking about the essay in class should suffice.

Even the infamously hard Baird multiple-choice section isn’t that bad, although I’m sure scores of people have told you that it’s impossible to do well on it.

Again the key to success in this category is to pay attention in class. I don’t care if you’re Encyclopedia Brown; it’s impossible to memorize all of someone else’s notes for the final.

While you’ve never seen the questions before, they’re usually more general than his normal multiple choice.

History is a story. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.

If you understand the main points of the story, then the multiple choice shouldn’t be too surprising.

Overall, even if you do poorly on the multiple choice, the short answers and essay can keep your score afloat.

And if all else fails, there’s always hope for a curve.


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