Finals crunch time

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Penalties for cheating include failing, expulsion.

story by Young-Sam Kim
Daily Titan Staff Writer

With finals rapidly approaching, the topic of cheating may be on some students’ and professors’ minds.

"It depends on the person, but it can be really easy to cheat,” one student said. “In the big lecture halls I could see some cheaters in the last mid-term.” He added that his professors do not try too hard to prevent some students from cheating and that increases the temptation.

Charles W. Buck, associate vice president for student affairs said, “It is initially the responsibility of the faculty member to investigate and report the students caught cheating.” It is up to the faculty member to decide on a penalty, which can range from an oral reprimand to an F in the course.

Additional sanctions, which depend on the student’s record and the specific circumstances, can involve anything from probation to expulsion.

Buck said his office maintains an academic dishonesty file of all cases with the appropriate documentation.

Around 50 cheating cases were reported last year.

“Many faculty members don’t report the cases officially even though they have caught the cheaters,” Buck said.

He sent out warning letters to them instead of taking action. But if the same student is caught more than once, the student faces heavier penalties such as probation, suspension or expulsion.

“Probation and suspension records will remain on the student’s academic record during the term of the probation or suspension,” he said. “But expulsion will be part of the student’s permanent academic record.”

“There are lots of factors involved and many different ways to make it easy to cheat,” said Ayako Hosono, a graduate student.

“It really affects everyone. It should be stopped.”

Workshop suggests alternative to
cramming for finals.

story by Cristina Lam
Daily Titan Staff Writer

It is 7:15 p.m., you have about 14 hours to cram for your final which is at 9:00 a.m. the next day. How can you squeeze five weeks of course work into one night?

The Women's Center can help. The center put on a workshop specifically tailored to last-minute studying on Thursday.

“I’ve been partying and watching television since school started, and now I’m paying for it. I am so desperate right now, so I thought by coming here, miraculously I can dig myself out of this situation,” junior Thu Nguyen said.

Maria Elenbaas, assistant director of academic advisement, discussed how to cram for tests. She discourages this method, but said she realizes it is easy for college students to fall back on the technique after a semester of distraction.

“Well, first you can start by turning off the television set and seclude yourself from any distractions. If you’ve gotten behind, it is still not too late to study. You might not know all the answers to the question, but it’s better to have some knowledge than none,” Elenbaas said.

She advised students to know their limitations. Cramming will not be helpful when it is being misused.

“I have six chapters to read for my final on Monday. How am I going to do that?” senior Juan Ortiz asked.

Instead of cramming the entire book or notes for that night, pick out only five or six important factors from the material. Select keywords, and when quizzing oneself, practice giving supporting statements.

“Don’t try to learn it all when you cram. You can’t. Instead, pick out a few of the most important elements of the course and learn those backward, forward and upside down,” Elenbaas said.

Resist the temptation of covering everything lightly because the chance of recalling the material during an exam is slim. Use illustrations to help aid in the memorization process.

“I had Chemistry, and I couldn’t pass that class if my life depended on it,” Elenbaas said. “So I used visualization to help me remember the material.

“I love clouds. So what I did was put all the formulas on a flash card, and cut it into the shape of a cloud, and it really worked. It was easy to recall the cloud, and when I did, the formula was right there along with it.”

Recitation is the most important factor in memorizing material. Repeat the learned material out loud over and over until the material is engraved into the mind.

Elenbaas advised students to use relaxation techniques to reduce test anxiety. If a student becomes too anxious, the student will be likely to freeze and forget the material learned. Eat a light breakfast to gain some energy, but too much can make one sleepy, sluggish, and unfocused during the exam. Having more than one cup of coffee should be avoided.

“The last thing you need is to run in the wrong direction,” Elenbaas said.

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