Two weeks ago was finals week…although each class is different, I will explain how my finals went in my classes, so you guys can know what to expect in terms of finals stress at WashU!
Argumentation: This was my English Composition–Argumentation class that I took as a Writing Intensive (each ArtSci student is required to take a Writing Intensive class in their junior/senior year). For our final, we had a 8-10 page research paper and a 15 minute presentation to our small class of 12. I chose to write about mental health in America, specifically the tendency for psychiatrists to over-prescribe psychiatric medication. Overall not that bad! And these assignments were due the last day of class, so I didn’t have to worry about this class during Finals week.
Behavioral Psychology Reading Group: This was my upper-level/graduate student reading group where each week we chose articles that were key in the development of behaviorism (an important perspective and philosophy of psychology). To finish out the class, we wrote a short, 1-page summary of what we enjoyed most about the class and what we learned. Then on the last day of class, we watched a movie and enjoyed a nice dinner together as a class–not that bad at all!
Anthropology of Human Birth: I took this class as part of my Public Health minor. It was a great class that explored the science of pregnancy/birth, as well as how pregnancy/birth is viewed in other cultures. For our “final”, this was really just the third exam for the class that was held on the last day of class (so again, I didn’t have to worry about this class during Finals week). What was even better, was that this third exam was over the last part of material in the class. No cumulative test=Amazing!
Public Health Research and Practice: This was my other Public Health class this semester. It was primarily a methods class, teaching us about how to conduct epidemiological research but it used real-world examples which made it really interesting. What was even better, was that the professors for this class were in the midst of conducting their own important research, the CHOICE project, and were able to tie in all of the relevant methods topics to this project! Our final for this class was just the second mid-term, so again, no cumulative final! Although it was held at 8am on the first day of Finals Week 😦 lol
Addiction and Treatment: I took this class as part of my Psychology major and also because it sounded really interesting. It was part of the University College curriculum which is primarily night-classes for working adults or other non-typical WashU students. We learned about the theories behind addiction, and more importantly the current treatment options for addiction. For our final, also held on the first day of Finals Week, we had 13 short essay questions. Although they covered material from the entire course, the professor was very kind, in that as long as you showed up to class and paid attention (and who wouldn’t? It was an awesome class!) then you would do fine on the final 🙂
Psychological Science Fact and Fiction: This was another class I took for my Psych major and it covered the concepts of proof and the scientific process in psychology. Throughout the years, there have been some crazy techniques and theories in psychology, mostly from people who didn’t correctly use the scientific process to guide their quacky findings. Our final for this class was another research paper, this time on the ‘science’ behind Facilitated Communication (a controversial method of communication for autistic children and other non-communicative children with learning disabilities). In addition, we had a second mid-term–thankfully just over the material in the second 1/2 of the class!
So Finals Week, though definitely very stressful, also doesn’t kill you! Professors are usually really understanding and won’t assign the most intense final designed to make you suffer (remember, they have to grade the final as well…who wants to grade twenty or more 50-page papers?)
I hope your Finals Week goes/went well and that you are well on your way to enjoying summer!!! 🙂
PS- hopefully you won’t look like this during exams!