Student Perspective: Exam Resources, Study Habits, and Teamwork

Nicky Wildish, third-year student and McIntire Ambassador

In the coming days, prospective Commerce students might take midterms for their prerequisite courses. The exams can be intimidating on a number of levels: Exam classrooms can often hold up to 100 – 150 students; there may be only three exams per class all semester; and the final grades from these prerequisite classes are important in the context of McIntire’s holistic admission process. Here’s some tips to calm nerves and offer some insight on why the future may be bright.

  1. Use your resources. Take advantage of professor and TA office hours. While this advice is dished out seemingly all the time, many students let it sail over their heads without applying it. When it comes to studying, there is no better substitute to working one-on-one with a professor and asking any questions that you may have. Students often perform noticeably better in the classes in which they take advantage of office hours, compared with those they don’t.
  2. It’s crucial to use a combination of group and individual study. First, study on your own, reviewing lecture notes and highlights from the chapter. Repeat what you do know, and write down what you don’t. Then, try to figure out your confusion on your own before asking a friend or professor for help. There is no better way to learn than working through a problem by yourself. If this doesn’t work and a professor is not readily available, work in a team of classmates. Preparing for tests in groups is the best way to learn and study material you would have otherwise not have studied. Also, peers may be able to answer your questions, and you may be able to answer their questions; both are terrific ways to reinforce the material you’re studying.
  3. In the Commerce School, working in teams will become much more commonplace—and necessary. The third-year ICE curriculum is centered on the concept of teamwork. If you strongly prefer teamwork and long-term projects to class lectures and big exams that come with the prerequisite courses, then you’ll certainly enjoy your ICE experience. Rather having three heavily weighted exams for the entire semester like many classes, the ICE curriculum has a diverse range of assignments and evaluations that are used to determine a final grade. Grades come from class participation, team projects (small and large), class presentations, individual projects, exams, quizzes, and more. If you slip up on a grade here or there, it’s usually not a big deal, as you’ll have plenty of opportunities to redeem yourself.

TL/DR: For prospective students taking the daunting prerequisite course exams coming up, remember three things: Use your resources, study, and leverage your peers. The future at McIntire is full of team projects, not just those nerve-racking exams you take in an auditorium with 100 or so other stressed students.

– Nicky Wildish, McIntire Ambassador


Nicky Wildish is a third-year McIntire student and McIntire Ambassador from Darien, Conn. A former high school mascot, he loves all things sports, especially the business side. He’s a member of the Sports Business Club, is a former writer for the sports section of The Cavalier Daily, and previously worked with the Cavalier football team in operations.