Finals week in the Testing Center starts out busy and gets busier, said Linda Little, director of Testing and Assessment at OCCC. On average, about 4,000 tests are administered during finals week, Little said.
To accommodate students, the Testing Center will be offering extended hours during finals week.
Monday through Friday, May 11 through 15, the Testing Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The doors will lock at 10 p.m.
On Saturday, May 16, the hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and doors lock at 4 p.m.
For students who have some flexibility about when they take final exams, Little had some advice on how to make the best of a hectic period.
She said Tuesday and Wednesday are less busy in the Testing Center but Thursday, Friday and Saturday can get very crowded because a lot of people will wait until the last minute.
“When they do that, there will be more people trying to get in to test at the same time,” she said.
When the room gets crowded, it can become hot and stuffy, Little said. She suggests that students dress comfortably, and consider wearing light layers, since it can get pretty warm. Early morning hours and later in the evening tend to be less crowded.
“If students want to come when we’re less busy, they need to come in the morning before 10 or 11 or in the evening between 7 and 10,” she said.
Testing Center activity picks up around 11 a.m. and stays busy until at least 7 in the evening, Little said. They’re busy all day but some hours not as busy.
Taking tests early in the day is better for some students.
“I like to go to the Testing Center in the morning,” said student Jing Long. “I don’t like the evening or afternoon because in the morning your brain will be much smarter and remember all the things you have to remember.”
Others prefer different hours.
“From my experience here, I always prefer to come around 1 o’clock to have a lot of time before they close,” said student Nariman Obias. “I like to spend maybe two hours and a half working on my test.”
Obias said she plans to start studying a week before her test and work hard to be prepared.
Little said a few students arrive with incomplete information, which can add to an already stressful situation. And sometimes they arrive too late to take the test.
“The most common thing all the time is that they either show up without their student ID, because they have to have a student ID, or they show up after the doors are locked, because we lock the doors an hour before we close,” Little said.
“Other important things for students to know are their professor’s name and their course prefix and number.” She said it’s also important for students to know what test they’re going to take.
“During finals week it isn’t as much of a problem because 95 percent of the people coming in are taking finals, but sometimes there are people that still need to take an exam they missed,” she said.
“And students should be sure to write their name on the test,” said Little, of another common mistake. “I’m amazed at how many students forget to write their names on them.”
She said the staff tries to catch that before the student walks out but can’t always, especially if they’re really busy in the Testing Center.
“A lot of students will have more than one test during finals week so they’ve got to manage their time to try and balance that out,” she said.
She suggests students start studying at least one week in advance.
“They can’t bring anything into the Testing Center other than what they might need to take the test,” Little said. All personal belongings, including cell phones, should be placed inside the lockers outside of the Testing Center.
“Students should make sure if they use a locker, to lock the locker,” Little said. If students don’t know how to use the lockers, there are instructions on the inside.
During peak hours the lockers can get full so students might want to leave their belongings locked in their car.
Little said they will be posting signs with the Testing Center hours during finals week and students can also pick up a card at the front counter of the Testing Center with those hours.
“I know finals can be really stressful for everybody,” she said.
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