Mistakes you don’t want to make during finals

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Phillip Downey/File

Now that midterm season is almost over, it’s time to start thinking about preparing for finals. There’s enough to worry about without the added stress of making avoidable, simple mistakes that’ll only bring your grade down. That’s why we at the Clog are here today to bring your attention to five mistakes that you could definitely avoid making on your finals.

  1. Writing short answers in pencil instead of pen.

If you want to increase your chances of getting any points from a regrade on your short answers, write them in pen instead of pencil. Unfortunately, answers written in pencil don’t have a great chance at getting regraded. This is a pretty general policy for most classes at UC Berkeley, so make sure to bring your pen to your finals!

  1. Bubbling in the wrong question number on your Scantron.

Make sure to check that you’re bubbling in the answer to the right question number on your Scantron. It’s definitely easy to get lost amid the sea of numbers on the Scantron, especially in the heat of the final. So, make sure to be doubly sure that you’re bubbling in the right letters in the right rows!

  1. Finishing the final one minute after the cutoff time for leaving early.

Usually, midterms will have various rules, such as not allowing people to leave early after only 30 minutes are left for the final. Thus, if you’re the type to want to leave early, watch your time and make sure to finish before the cutoff time for early dismissal. Believe it or not, 30 minutes is actually quite a bit of time to be waiting around or stressing about the questions you don’t know the answers to.

  1. Going to a final on an empty stomach.

Believe us, you won’t want to make this mistake. Trying to take a final on an empty stomach is like sabotaging your own GPA even before taking the exam. You won’t be able to think clearly if all you can think about is what you’re going to eat after the final. So unless you want to make everyone else happy by being at the bottom of the curve, eat a nutritious meal that’ll nourish and revitalize your brain cells.

  1. Read directions carefully.

You don’t want to miss points here and there for forgetting to do the simplest things, such as circling or underlining a key phrase in your short answers. You also don’t want to misread a question and bubble in the opposite of the answer you’re supposed to have. All of those points will definitely add up and could even lower your exam score by a letter grade or two!

Now that we’ve revealed some common mistakes to avoid, you’ll hopefully be able to increase your finals success rate. Best of luck, and may the forces of acing your finals be with you!

Contact Judy Shan at [email protected].