Finally Finals

It’s about that that time of year, again, folks. The time of year where students are stuck inside stuffing their minds with as much information as they can possibly bear before exploding. Unfortunately, this semesterly ritual of students studying is not one that you can escape just by leaving your home university; it is a universal practice that all university students undertake. This blog will give you a brief inside scoop of what the final-exam period is like at the University of Edinburgh and how it compares to my previous experiences back home at Iowa State University.

So, what are the differences?

The most major difference that I’ve seen thus far is how the exams is how the dates of exams are spread out. Back home at Iowa State University towards the end of a semester, our finals schedule includes Dead Week, (also known as the week prior to taking exams where students are practically “dead” from studying), and Finals Week during which all finals for classes on campus are taken. Here at the University of Edinburgh we finished actually attending lectures on the first of April, had Spring Break up until around the 18th of April, and since then have been in what I like to call a “Dead Month”. I have only three final exams, all of which are spread out until the 11th of May, leaving me with a lot of study time and free time between each exam.

One other interesting difference between final exams here at Edinburgh and back home is how exams are actually taken. I would compare the method by which the University of Edinburgh proctors its examinations to what takes place in the Harry Potter series. When I walked into my first exam on an early Tuesday morning, I was met with hundreds of desks neatly lined within rows in a gigantic room, much similar to when the students of Hogwarts would take their final exams and their O.W.L.s in the Great Hall. Although the actual exam wasn’t a very exciting experience, I feel as though I’ve lived out a small portion of my dreams of being a Hogwarts student in taking an exam in this fashion. Back home at Iowa State University we often take our exams online in computer labs all over campus; a not so magical experience.

So, which do I prefer?

Personally, I actually would prefer Iowa State’s schedule for final exams. Although I’ve definitely enjoyed the free time in this month of examinations here in Edinburgh, I think it’s more efficient to have the exams packed into one week the way ISU does. I also think that I am more motivated to study back home due to the fact that all of my exams will be over in one quick week and then I’m able to relax right away, unlike Edinburgh where the exams seem to be a slow, impending doom. Okay, it’s not that bad. 😉

I’m sure this was an extremely boring blog post, but I’m studying abroad after all! I had to study sometime this semester and this seemed like the right time to do that 🙂

Thanks for reading and good luck to all of the students taking exams out there, wherever you are! xx


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