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Professors Stress Over Exam Season as Much as Students Do

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Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

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It’s the time of the year when students at New Mexico State University reach skyrocketing levels stress due to testing season. However, testing season does not only mean stress for the students taking the exams, but it also means loads of stress for the NMSU professors.

Finance professor, Mike McGonigle, describes the stressful aspects to the end-of-semester testing season, including grading, and helping graduate students find jobs after they graduate from NMSU.

“As a professor, the end of the semester brings many different sources of stress… [such as] planning for the next semester,” said finance professor Mike McGonigle.  

The average millennial student generally has a different perspective on what testing season entails compared to the majority of their professors, who are much more disciplined and experienced in their fields of study.

“I think teachers forget sometimes that they are not the only priority.  Students have full academic schedules, extracurricular clubs, and [social lives] to worry about and maintain,” said junior Myka Mosley.  Mosley explained that many professors simply don’t understand that it is hard to maintain a balanced lifestyle during testing season when a student is overwhelmed with assignments and studying.

Where do the discrepancies between students’ perspectives on testing season and the perspectives of professors come from?  A possible answer to this is the idea that the stress coming from both entities causes them to inhibit themselves from seeing the other entity’s perspective.  The degree of priority that both professors and students place on their respective responsibilities causes each party to bring certain factors related to testing season to light more frequently than other factors.  One of these factors is time allotment and commitment.

“The more you are stressed, the less productive you will be,” said McGonigle, when asked about any special accommodations that students should make during this demanding time of year, or accommodations he himself makes as a professor.

On the other side of the perspectives, students generally believe that being less stressed and more productive during testing season is easier said than done.

“I make sure to get plenty of rest, and exercise more often to relieve stress,” said Mosley.  She explained her accommodations in terms of her scheduling during the days of testing season; the organization and planning that goes into these accommodations requires a significant amount of time taken out of the day, which is time that could be used for studying instead.

Professors, specifically Professor McGonigle, although they may not show it so clearly, truly do have the interests on their students in mind.

“I spend a ton of time reviewing my exams and assignments to make sure they are fair, reasonable, and transparent,” said McGonigle.  He explained that he wants all his students to earn an “A” on his exams and learn from the experience and material being tested on.  The experiences that McGonigle, and most other professors at NMSU had in their own times being undergraduate students, make a huge impact on their teaching styles and the resources they provide to their students, especially during testing season at the end of the semester.

Not all students are the same, and not all professors are the same, whether it be regarding study patterns or grading techniques.  But one thing that both students and professors can agree on, is that testing season is overall an experience that allows students and professors alike to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and discover what they can improve on.

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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907
Professors Stress Over Exam Season as Much as Students Do