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Editorial: Reading day on Thursday of finals week could be better placed

Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 22:12

With the upcoming finals week, the UConn student population will likely be feeling more stressed than usual, rushing to find a spot in the Homer Babbidge library in preparation to study a semester’s worth of material. To help alleviate this stress, many colleges and universities implement a reading day, a day either during or prior to the week of final exams in which there are no exams or classes and instead allows students to study for upcoming exams. UConn has such a day on the Thursday of finals week, but one has to wonder if this really is the best place for it.

While there are certainly exams on Friday and during the ensuing weekend, the majority of exams tend to fall on the Monday to Wednesday stretch of finals week. As such, some students are finished with exams before the reading day even comes around, making it rather useless for them. Even students that are able to use the reading day will only be able to do so for their remaining exams, whereas the extra study time may have been more useful for an exam that was already taken.

UConn’s reading day is rather unique when compared to other colleges. For example, the University of Chicago reserves the Thursday and Friday before exams as reading days. Students at the University of Washington in St. Louis and Harvard each get a weeklong reading period between the last day of classes and the start of final exams. While there is no need for UConn to give students a full week of no class prior to exams, the way these schools and many others handle their reading day is the same; they all take place prior to final exams.

It would make much more sense for UConn to move the reading to earlier in the week, perhaps on Monday of finals week so as to give students a three-day weekend to prepare for exams. Such a change also shouldn’t affect exam scheduling as Thursday would simply become a regular exam day. Overall, moving the reading day to earlier in the exam week not only allows more students to utilize it, but also allows them to better use the allotted time to study for the exams they see fit.

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