Finals prep: of Arches and lockdown browsers


Courtesy / Meghan Landgren

Maddie Zimmerman, Columnist

When I hear the word “finals” I just want to run away. The thought of an exam that rounds off your 89.98% in writing is terrifying. A final over material you were barely taught is uncalled for.

During COVID-19 many would agree that our education hasn’t been top tier. From bad internet, lazy professors, having little motivation and having all of your classes basically online, this year has been nothing short of a nightmare for students. That’s why I’m here to hopefully help you stress about finals less. 

Step one–this one is special for the GVSU students. Do not step under the blue arch by the arboretum. When I first toured GVSU, I was never warned to not step under the mysterious blue arch. I believe it was a setup because when I came back to GVSU once I was officially committed, my mom wanted a picture of me under it. Unknowingly, I walked right under it while my mom zoomed in on my face, even though I begged her not to for her infamous Facebook mom photos.

Now flash forward to my first psychology exam. My boyfriend and I are walking to the arboretum when he tells me the horror story. If you walk under the arch you fail your first exam. Well, flash forward even more to me sitting down at my desk to take the god forsaken thing. Let’s just say I didn’t do too hot. Just in case my mom is reading this, I did pass (but barely). I was recorded the whole time and my anxiety was through the roof. So when I tell you do not walk under it, trust me. 

Now, let me tell you about this whole lockdown browser thing. So, my psychology professor required this program you had to install into your computer to literally watch you and record you in order for you to prove that you didn’t cheat on the exam. 

I kind of freaked out when I read this in the syllabus. So okay, I couldn’t use my notes which stunk but what made it worse was that my computer was recording me. It was recording when I touched my hair, got a drink of water, fidgeted, and even blinked. So I tried my best to sit completely still so my professor wouldn’t be alerted. Well, for a person with bad test anxiety, you can imagine how this would go.

Why do we even have this system? Why is it okay that our teachers can get recordings of us and us students have no idea if the videos even delete? Why not just hold a zoom session instead? I just don’t think it’s necessary and safe to use this program. 

I believe that we shouldn’t even have exams. They are draining, stressful and don’t even show what you truly learned in a class. I think that instead, we should implement some extra credit opportunities. We’re paying thousands of dollars for our education. We should be able to make up some points and live out our final days of the year having fun with friends, not stressing out about finals.