Final exams different at grad, undergrad levels

Charlee Caudill, Contributing Writer


While undergraduate students are busy cramming for final exams, graduate students are not and experience finals week in a different way; they write papers.

Samantha Bobbitt, a second-year political science graduate student, said her finals consist of research papers, which she usually has an entire semester to work on.

However, during the semester there is often other coursework that has to be completed first.

“At the end of the semester, I am usually trying to catch up and perfect papers that are worth a good portion of my grade,” Bobbitt said.

But Abby Howard, a second-year graduate student at Oklahoma State University, has a different story.

Howard attended Eastern as an undergraduate but currently studies higher education and college student development at Oklahoma State.

She says her most difficult final will be a comprehensive exam, but her finals vary. “Some professors will have you write a response, 10-12 pages, to a case study. Others will have you complete a research paper, page length varying,” she said. “Then there are a few professors (who) will have exams formatted as short-answer response and essay questions.”

Howard said her graduate finals are a lot less strenuous because she is not memorizing a lot of material.

Bobbitt said her tips for undergraduates considering entering graduate school are to study hard and to maintain good grades as an undergraduate. She said this will make getting into graduate school easier.

“Once you are in graduate school, make friends. They will help to keep you going through all the times you want to give up,” she said.

There is one thing that Bobbitt warns potential graduate students to stay away from.

“Procrastination is your worst enemy; do your best to stay on top of your work and start your projects early,” she said.

Charlee Caudill can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].