Students Express First Exam Fears and Study Habits

Story posted February 10, 2022 in CommRadio, News by Gabrielle Teiner

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- As the spring semester continues into week five at Penn State, many students have begun to prepare for their first exams of the semester. 

Exams, online or in-person, can be a huge stressor to some students like second year student Riley Burke. “I have my first really big exam coming up in a few weeks and I’m really nervous but thank god it's online, which takes a little bit of the stress away” Burke said. “But I’m going to study and hopefully do well.”

While exams being administered online has become a norm for many due to the pandemic, Burke says she still intends to study to ensure a good grade. “I’ve been going to class and doing all the lessons, I'm going to make a huge study guide and hopefully get together with some friends to study,” she said.

Her most helpful study tactic she said requires complete isolation to focus. “I just lock myself in my room alone, turn my phone off, and then just grind it out,” Burke said. According to an article published by Study USA, it states that “studying alone allows you to set the perfect study environment so you get the most out of studying and also allows you to use the study tactics that are the most effective for your learning style.”

While some students have the luxury of taking their exams in a familiar environment, others will have to take their tests at the Pollock Testing Center.
The Pollock Testing Center is The eTesting Lab with secure, computer-based testing for Penn State undergraduate courses. The eTesting Lab has 155 exam workstations per testing time slot, with a variety of tests being administered at once.

Third year student Ella Miller has taken exams in the Pollock Testing Center before, and has dealt with the stressors that come along with it. “I feel like everyone around me, all the monitors are always looking at me and making me feel a little more nervous than I usually am if I was on my own time,” Miller said.

Miller also shared some advice for students taking in-person exams. “Definitely make sure you have what you need beforehand, make sure you know each component of the test, so you know exactly what you’re going to have to be doing.”

For more information on the Pollock Testing Center visit For more information about study resources at Penn state visit


Gabrielle Teiner is a third year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email

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Gabrielle Teiner

Senior / Broadcast Journalism Major

Gabrielle Teiner is a fourth-year student from Long Island, New York, majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. She is a member of the CommRadio news department and can be heard on the air every Wednesday. She also serves as the Entertainment anchor for Penn State Network News every Monday. She also anchors segments on the Nittany Lion Red Carpet News show. This past summer she was a writing intern for uInterview, writing over 140 stories during her time there. She is currently a member of Centre County Report. If you’d like to contact her, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).