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My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Dec. 13, 2008, in response to the Camera’s question: CU’s student leaders are lobbying the Boulder campus administration to reinstate the two-day buffer that traditionally separated the end of each semester and the beginning of finals.

A pair of reading days in the spring and fall were eliminated beginning in 2000 to accommodate a fall break in October — which was shifted to Thanksgiving week in 2006 — and help make room for the abbreviated Maymester term. Do you think the reading days should be reinstated?

When I was a college student, I attended more than one school before graduating from CU, so I had the opportunity to experience finals with and without reading days. Memory of my first college finals could have faded, but I remember my grades were earned more from projects and tests throughout the semester than from killer comprehensive tests covering the entire semester. Reading days weren’t really necessary.

However, CU finals, for the most part, covered material from at least a third of the semester. The two reading days gave me a chance to review in more depth and to prepare possible essay test questions without having to also wrap up classes. I always counted myself lucky if I didn’t have one of the first finals times. Those extra days to prepare really boosted my confidence and preparation.

I support the move to start finals on Monday rather than the Saturday right after the semester ends. It gives students a slight break to catch up on studying or sleep and to prepare more fully for finals. If I were a student now, however, it probably wouldn’t help me much. I would be a non-traditional student with family and church commitments on the weekend. A much better solution would be to shift the semester so reading days are on Thursday and Friday with finals starting on Saturday. Then, you’d have a two-day break before getting back at it. I see that as a good reason to shorten the fall break at Thanksgiving.


Source: Daily Camera


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