In order to help you prepare for your upcoming examinations, the international Office has contacted two key University Services to give you their expert advice and guidance. Starting with Elena Sauri, from the CEU- UCH´S Library Service, we find out what facilities and resources this service has to offer:
Are there materials available in other languages for our international students?
Yes, especially resources in English, but as the University has started to offer the Veterinary Degree in French, students now also have access to a wide range of books in French as well. We have books for practically all the languages the Erasmus students tend to use, especially English, French and even some material in German, but this would be for more specific topics.
What additional services are available to the students during exam season? Are there any special requirements?
From the 3rd May to the 12th July, the library will be open 24h a day; there are no real additions or changes to our services, except for the extended library opening hours, because students will be able to consult the books on the shelves at any time, the library staff will be here to help students as normal from; 7:45am – 9:30pm, Monday to Friday. Then on weekends, one of our library interns will be here, she knows her way around the library catalogue; how the books are organized, where they are located and how to use the photocopier, so she will also be able to help the students should they have any problems. There is also a security guard who is mainly there to supervise the library and make sure we keep the noise level to a minimum, particularly during exam time when maintaining a quiet environment is so important.
We are aware that this is the time of the year when students use our facilities the most, so we would like to ask them to bring their CEU University card with them to the library, so that they can have priority access to the library and its facilities during the examination period. If for any reason they are unable to bring their I.D card, we would then ask them to bring a copy of the invoice of their registration payment. In this way we can make sure our students come first.
Are there rooms are available for the students to use, for example for private study or group study sessions?
During the exam period, students will have access to the group study rooms, during the normal daytime opening hours, from 8:30am – until 9pm. During the evening opening hours and also on weekends, we will only make these rooms available for students if the rest of the library is full, in order to make room for more students.
Would they need to be booked in advance?
No, all they need to do is come to the reception window and let us know that the library is full and we will open the rooms for them.
What about the I.T. rooms?
The same goes for the I.T. rooms, they will be closed during the evening hours and on weekends, but we have Wi-Fi access in the whole building so students can bring their own laptops, connect to the network, and access online resources without any problems.
Is there a library database of books or articles which can be accessed online?
Of course, we have a series of online resources and data that students can access on their laptops. What the students have to do to have access to the online resources is to go on to the Library´s website and find the external access to PAPI system tab, click here and then enter the usernames and passwords they were given when they registered.
Is it possible to take books that are on high demand out on a short-term loan, e.g. for 8 hours?
No, but we always have several copies of high demand books; one of these copies must stay in the library at all times, it is marked with a red label, which means library access only, so students can come in and consult it whenever they need to.
Is there anything else you would you like to add, any other advice you would like to offer the students?
The only thing I would say to students is that I know that it is a really stressful time for them because they are doing their final exams, but I´d just like to remind them to respect their colleagues, to try to keep the noise down as much as possible, to keep their mobile phones on silence. I would also ask them not to bring food into the library because they can damage the library materials; however, they are allowed to bring water, which we understand is necessary as they spend so many hours working here. There are vending machines in the reception area as well as a seating area, so we would ask students to have their refreshments there, and then go back inside.
We would also like to emphasise that this is a time when students require a high level of concentration, the room conditions are already programmed to provide a comfortable working environment for them, all we need is for the students to cooperate, to put a bit of themselves and keep the noise down as much as possible, so that we can achieve the best possible working conditions and create a better working environment for all.
We will now hear from the University´s Counseling and Disability Assistance Service, as they offer their tips and advice for dealing with stress during the examination period:
How should I tackle exams?
With a good, positive mindset and good organisation.
How can I organise my time properly?
We are all aware that “time” is something that is crucial for us to perform any kind of activity, but also something that is limited, so in order to avoid any added pressure, it is essential for you to manage your time well.
The first thing to do is to set yourself objectives; these must be personal goals (as we all have different goals), they should be realistic, achievable yet challenging and compatible with one another and above all they must be put in WRITING.
Good planning should take into account not only work and study, but also time for family, for friends, for leisure activities, etc… Start by making a note of the classes you need to attend and any other fixed activities in your weekly planner. Once you have these fixed activities written down, you can then start to work out the different tasks, activities or projects that are a priority and you would like to do or should do. You should then write down in your timetable when you are going to do them.
It is essential to create a timetable of regular study, without forgetting to include breaks to avoid exhaustion. Don´t forget that good planning should be personal, realistic, flexible and adaptable. In short, it must be useful. It is very important to combine your detailed weekly schedule with the monthly schedule of the academic calendar.
How do you cope with stress?
To deal with stress, you have to start by attending classes regularly and making effective use of this time, you must also organise well your; study environment, study materials, and the time you devote to revising.
Make sure that you have all the materials you need to prepare for each of the subjects. Allow yourself plenty of time for revision; you will be able to work better this away. If you work under stress you will not be able to focus or understand your work.
Making sure you; get plenty of sleep, play sports, do breathing and relaxation exercises, eat right, lead a quiet and orderly life, maintain a positive attitude and put any negative thoughts out of your mind, all these aspects can help to prevent stress . Do not try to do more than is really possible and, above all, believe in yourself.
Do not forget to ask your teacher for advice when you have concerns about the content of the subject. Your teacher´s guidance will reassure you that you are working in the right way, with clear and well adapted concepts.
What support can the University´s Counseling and Disability Assistance Service, provide students?
Students can attend the University´s Counseling and Disability Assistance Service, whenever they need it. It consists of a team of professionals, psychologists and teachers, whose main function is to guide students on personal, academic and professional issues:
We also offer the option of creating customised work plans for improving academic performance:
As for students who are living away from home, we can advise them in adjusting to life at university, as we already provide support with personal problems and those that derive from adapting to university life.
We also offer support for pupils with special education needs arising from disabilities, and promote actions to improve academic access as well as access around the university.
Our counseling service offers personalized and confidential guidance.
From our experience, we have found that the most effective help is the most personalized help, so we invite students to use the University resources, which are:
-A personalised Tutoring Programme for first year students.
-Advice from course coordinators for students in their 2nd year through to 5th year students.
-The Counseling Service is open to all the students of the University CEU Cardenal Herrera.