Meilinda Darmawan | First-year architecture student

Students share how they’re preparing for exams amid virtual instruction

Due to Cal Poly Pomona’s decision to transition all classes to virtual instruction on March 18, students are going through midterm and finals season without access to on-campus resources such as library study rooms, computer labs and in-person study groups. Other academic resources such as the Learning Resource Center and the Reading, Advising, & Mentoring Program have since moved advising, tutoring and other mentoring services to online appointments and other remote methods.

To see how students are adjusting to this new situation, The Poly Post interviewed some students on how they are preparing for exams for their online classes, as well as how their studying habits have changed. Photos are courtesy of each individual student.

Photos and quotes compiled by staff writer Amber Li.

Sylvia Phung | First-year psychology student

“There are some classes that I can prepare for and others who have changed their midterm formats completely. While I do spend time doing their midterms, I don’t do much prep work and instead just get right into it and complete it all at once. In terms of studying for the online assessment, I feel that I need to think critically about the information gotten rather than simply memorizing and answering multiple choice questions. In a way, this is more difficult, but in the end, I get a better understanding of the subject.”





Amanda Chang | Second-year computer science student

“I usually re-read my notes and condense them into a study guide that I write or type. If that class posts its lectures, I might add a few (or lots of, if I’m lazy) screenshots to save time. This hasn’t really changed for me since going virtual. I don’t think it’s harder for me to study, but it’s harder for me to concentrate on classes which can make my notes worse for studying.”





Jeremie Javellana | First-year food science and technology student

“I feel like it is helpful when professors record their lectures, and it does make it easier to study the content. So, as I review my study guides, I can always go back to the exact lecture. My habits did change. I do have extra resources that my professor provided because of everything being online. But it is harder to focus because at home, there are a lot of distractions that can keep me sidetracked versus when I’m in the library on my own. It’s been hard adjusting to the new formatting, but there’s nothing we can really do about it. I just hope all of this could end sooner.”




Phillip Callahan | Fourth-year plant science student

“I’m preparing for midterms by watching the news in anticipation of social unrest and making sure my family has food. Yeah, studying’s pretty rough. I got a younger brother and sister to take care of, so it’s kinda the least of my worries. Dad works all day, every day online and Mom left last month to be with her parents. My preferred study space was the library, so studying (now) is more challenging to say the least …. I am not considering the credit/no credit option, simply because the resources offered by CPP administration fail to explain what that option is in detail and how it affects things like professional licensing. I plan on becoming a pest control advisor.”




Meilinda Darmawan | First-year architecture student

“Architecture finals are project-based. My studying habits have pretty much stayed the same, but I just need to make sure to keep good communication with teachers and other classmates so I know I’m on the right track. Working on projects has definitely gotten a bit harder since we don’t have our studio space. In the studio, it’s a lot easier to get feedback from classmates and is overall a better creative environment. However, it is nice to be honing digital work skills.”




Louis Guan | Fourth-year computer science student

“Yeah, (my studying habits have) definitely (changed since going virtual). I’m kinda not really studying much since all the exams are online. So, it’s like I’m going on Google and getting my answers through there. Besides that, I have my Discord open as well (where) I ask my fellow classmates. Before, I would study for like three hours before I sleep, then study for another three hours once I get to school for my exams …. For me, the online method sucks. It’s like, it just gives me no motivation to study, because all I do (is) the opposite of my previous method.”


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