The Life Of A History Major During Finals Week

The end is near, the end is here!

I’m about to finish up my second year of college, and I cannot believe it.  Of course, I do still have one more thing left to do. . . The dreaded finals. . .   However, unlike engineers, nurses, business students, etc. my history finals look quite different.  Rather than pouring over my notes trying to memorize formulas, or every single date to hope to get a multiple choice question right, I have to study a different way.

My history classes are giving out essay finals.  I know what all the non-history majors are thinking, “Phil, you have it so easy. . .”  Well my response is “yes and no.”  I will not lie, I do not like multiple choice — not because I struggle — but because when there are two answers that might be right, I like to explain my reasoning.  Obviously, multiple choice does not give me that option.  In that sense, I guess you could say my essay finals are “easier.”  People also tell me that essay are so much easier than tests because you can add a lot of fluff.  My response?  “Are you kidding me?”  I have two hours to concisely create and develop an argument, I do not have time to add fluff.  This isn’t like a high school essay where the teachers just want to make sure you have down the right facts.  No no no, this is an essay where my professor expects the facts to be right, and then dives into my argument and analyzes its strength.  Unlike tests, there is no multiple choice where I still have a 25% chance of getting the question right.  I either know it or I do not.

I would argue that essay finals are harder, but are so much more rewarding for history majors.  By the time you are done writing your essay, you truly comprehend how much you have learned, and are able to analyze what were the big factors during that time period.  The final is not just an examination of your knowledge, it is one final learning tool for history majors to truly examine what we have gone over.

Whelp, having said that I’m going to go review some of the movements of Colonial America and the societal structure of 16th and 17th Centuries of England.  Is it weird to say that I am looking forward to it?


P.S.  To everyone out there with finals left, study hard and enjoy the rush of relief after you finish finals!


Christian, Lover of History, Aspiring Teacher

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Some Simple Rants On History, Teaching History, The Ways Historians Think
2 comments on “The Life Of A History Major During Finals Week
  1. johnfea says:

    From Colonials to Provincials….From Colonials to Provincials….From Colonials to Provincials

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