COLUMN: Don't forget Honor Code amid stress, work of finals

by Carolyn Gill

AS FINAL exams are approaching, the Honor Council would like to make some recommendations to the student body regarding take-home finals and in-class exam conduct.

We are all feeling the stress of the end of the year, and the council would just like to remind students of some steps they can take to minimize the anxiety of exam-taking.

As always and most importantly, if students are concerned or unclear about the rules regarding a final exam, ask the professor.

The Honor Council does not make policy on the manner in which tests are taken, so be sure to seek out your professor when you have a question.

Take-home exams are a wonderful benefit of the Honor System as they allow the students to have more control over their own schedules. Professors should be sure to seal the tests in some manner so that the exam material could not be accidentally seen.

Professors should also be very clear with students in regard to exactly which materials are al- lowed for a particular test and how much time is allowed for the exam.

The council recommends to the students that they ask and understand exactly how much time they are allowed for each final.

Once you are sure of the amount of time given for a test, write your own starting and stopping times somewhere on your exam.

We also recommend placing the finished exam in a sealed envelope before turning it in.

In-class examinations can also be made less stressful.

Rice does not have active proctoring, but a professor or administrator may stay in the room to answer questions and collect material.

Students, where possible, should sit in every other seat and every other row of the assigned classroom and should avoid sitting with their study partners.

In addition, the council recommends that students bring only the allowed materials to the exam or place all unnecessary mater- ials at the front or back of the room.

The council would like to remind all students to sign the pledge on their exams.

We would also like to remind the student body, though, that the pledge is mainly symbolic in that it serves as a reminder that all work is covered under the Honor System. Failure to sign the pledge does not relieve the students' responsibilities under the code.

We hope these recommendations will help you manage your exams more effectively. Good luck!

Carolyn Gill is Honor Council chair and a Hanszen College senior.

This item appeared in the Opinion section of the December 8, 1995 issue.

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