Here in the TA/Tutoring Department at BYU Independent Study, the majority of us are students, so we’re quite familiar with the anxious-nervous feeling that comes with the thought of studying for final exams. Even though we’re university students, we’re here to help you with your studies whether you’re enrolled in an eighth grade, high school, or university level course.
Since we want you to feel calm and confident on your final exams, we’ve made a list of questions that students frequently ask as they start preparing for their final. Don’t worry—it’s common to ask these questions since each course is unique, and sometimes you just don’t know what to expect!
Question: What should I do to prepare?
Answer: Get help from your instructor, TA, or tutor early on. Whether you meet with us in the virtual classroom or call us, asking questions is an excellent way to prepare for your final. Many courses have required meetings with your instructor or TA, so come to your appointment prepared and come with questions! If your course doesn’t require you to meet with a tutor, get in contact with them anyways. Click here to make an appointment. This is a great resource to check your comprehension throughout the course and to ask them about helpful study tips for your specific course.
Question: What’s going to be on the final?
Answer: Self-Checks and quizzes are great study guides. In many cases, the written final exam is like a long quiz. So if you need to review the course content, take a look at your Self-Checks and other quizzes and assignments. You can find helpful feedback on these quizzes and assignments by going to your Grades page in Brain Honey. Click on the percent next to your completed assignment. If it was an instructor-graded assignment, you will be able to see any feedback that your instructor or TA posted after grading your work. If it was a Self-Check or other computer-graded quiz, you will be able to see which questions you missed and the corresponding lesson if you want to study that material again.
Question: How is the final exam formatted?
Answer: Read through your “Preparing for the Final Exam” tab at the end of your course. This is usually a good way to see how your test will be formatted (e.g., multiple choice, essay questions, etc.). However, it doesn’t usually give you the content of the test, so that’s where the quizzes and assignments come in handy.
Question: How do I request the exam?
Answer: Watch these tutorials on how to request your exam. The Testing department has done a great job making tutorials to walk you through the process of finding a proctor, requesting your exam, and taking an online exam. This is a great resource when you’re finished with your course and are ready to take the final exam.
Question: Do I have to be completely finished with my course before requesting the final exam?
Answer: Yes. You must submit all of your assignments before you request the exam. However, they don’t have to be graded. But once you request your exam, you won’t be allowed to re-submit any assignment for a higher grade. If possible, wait for all your assignments to be graded before requesting your exam.
Question: My course is about to expire soon! What if I don’t have time to finish the course and take the exam?
Answer: The deadline for requesting your final exam is the day your course expires. Then you have 30 days to take the exam from the day you requested it. However, before you request your final exam, contact your proctor to set up an appointment. (Some proctors charge a fee for using their services, so be sure to verify that as well.)
Below are shipping options for your final exam:
- Standard Shipping: If you choose this option, your proctor will receive your exam in 3-10 business days.
If you are in a rush to get your final exam graded, there are two expedited shipping options when you request your exam:
- Next Business Day Shipping: If you request this option Monday through Friday before noon, your test will arrive the next business day. There is a $20 fee with this option.
- Next Business Day Shipping-Round Trip: This is the same as the previous option, but your test will also be mailed back to BYU Independent Study by the next business day. There is a $30 fee with this option.
Question: What if my proctor isn’t on the list of proctors at my school?
Answer: If you do not see a specific proctor as one of the available proctors for your institution, update your Personal Information. Verify your school is listed in the “Academic Institution” section. If your information is updated and you still can’t see your proctor, contact your proctor or counselor to see if they are still certified.
Question: Can I take my exam online?
Answer: Yes. Many BYU Independent Study exams are available to take online. However, it is still proctored. If you have the option to take your final exam online, the website will automatically filter the proctors that are certified for online testing. If you don’t have the option to take an online exam, your final is only offered on paper.
If you still have questions or concerns about how to request your final exam or find a proctor, call Customer Support at (801) 422-2868 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or watch these tutorials on how to request your exam.
World Language Final Exams
Final exams for World Language courses are formatted a little differently. The information below will help you know what to expect on the final and how to effectively study for it.
High School Final Exams
Part 1 of your language final consists of a Final Speaking Appointment with your instructor. Schedule the appointment ahead of time. The “Final Speaking Appointment” page in the Preparing for the Final Exam tab goes over in detail what you should prepare. The best way to feel confident for this part of the exam is to practice with the TAs in the Conversation Café. You’re welcome to practice with the TAs as many times as you want before your speaking appointment with the instructor.
- Tip: Plan ahead. There is only one instructor for your course and 50+ students. Sometimes the next availability for an appointment with your instructor is 2 weeks away, so plan accordingly.
Once you complete the Final Speaking Appointment with your instructor, then you can request the written portion of the exam. Remember, your final is comprehensive, meaning that anything you’ve learned so far in the course is free game for the final. You should review not only the Unit quizzes from each lesson but also read the feedback from your instructor on your written assignments. Then, if you have specific questions, come ask your TA.
- Tip: When completing a Speaking Appointment or a written assignment, try your best to do it without your notes or your textbook. This will better prepare you for your final, where you won’t be allowed to use outside resources.
University Final Exams
These final exams consist of two parts: a Final Oral Exam (a.k.a. Final Speaking Appointment) and a written exam. Be sure to check the Preparing for the Final Exam tab in your Brain Honey course as the format may vary between each course and language (i.e., your TA or instructor may carry out the oral exam and the format could be multiple choice, listening, short answer, or essay question). When preparing for the final, consider using the tips mentioned in the High School portion above.