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The Stress of Grades

The Stress of Grades

Tests and Papers

(p.30) 2 Chapter The Stress of Grades
Campus Traditions
Simon J. Bronner
University Press of Mississippi

Once they enter college, students soon realize that tests and papers determine what grades they get. Despite the pronouncement of professors and official campus literature that accomplishment in a course is measured in the learning that occurs, high test scores are important to college students. Or that is the message conveyed by campus folklore. To prepare for exams, students resort to the well-known tradition of “cramming.” Even with cramming, students believe that success on exams involves some degree of luck. They engage in customs during finals or use lucky charms that they believe will bring good luck on the exam. In addition, students are constantly on the lookout for omens or rely on folk religious traditions. One memorable tradition around exam time is the use of mnemonic devices such as “cheat sheets” or “crib sheets.” Students may also resort to cheating using blue books or by hacking exam files, for example. Aside from finals, students also worry about the assigned essays known as “term papers.”

Keywords:   college students, folklore, exams, cramming, finals, mnemonic devices, cheating, blue books, term papers, grades

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