Final exams can be stressful, but signing up for them doesn’t need to be.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Digital Learning Commons recommends students register for a testing time in finals week as early as possible during the peak usage time, which is Monday and Tuesday, according to Amy Zachek, manager of Academic Technologies.
“I think that many students have set plans to leave campus during finals week or they just want to finish their finals early,” she said.
While she encourages students to always sign up as early as possible for their tests in the DLC, it’s especially important because of the busyness of finals week, Zachek said.
“I think that students are often used to being able to get a timeslot the day of testing,” she said in an email. “But finals week is such a high usage time that advanced scheduling is a better option.”
On average, the DLC holds 170 exams each finals week and saw around 11,000 final exam check-ins in fall 2018, she said.
The DLC’s scheduling process checks how many exams are scheduled at a certain time and never allows instructors to overbook the space, Zachek said.
“We have never overbooked the center to the point of students not being able to test,” she said.
The testing center also works to maximize the available space to allow as many students to test at the same time, according to Zachek.
“It’s kind of like a really complicated Tetris game with all of the exams of different lengths fitting together as efficiently as possible,” she said.
Quincey Bernard, a junior international business major, said the DLC feels a lot busier during finals week.
“It feels like all of the colleges use the same small space during finals,” he said.
He said he isn’t always able to get a time that’s ideal for his schedule, although he’s always been able to schedule a testing time for his finals in the DLC.
“I just worked around it,” he said. “If I didn’t get a time, then I figured out another time that I forced into my schedule.”
He said that only happens when he doesn’t plan ahead enough, and students may not be able to find a time at all if they wait too long to register.
Zachek said she encourages professors to extend testing times to the weekend before finals week to allow more time for students to test before the peak window.
If students are unable to find a time, they should keep checking, as spots usually become available throughout the week, she said.
The main way to prevent any issues is to sign up early, Zachek said.
“Again, I recommend early sign-up to ensure that students get a day and time that works for them,” she said.