Upcoming exams keep reserve room busy

By Steve Carasso

The first round of exams will be coming up for many NIU students and some are flocking to the reserve room at the library to find materials to help with their studies.

Some instructors put old tests on file at the reserve room in order to help their students become prepared for an upcoming test. The tests can be signed out for two hours or photocopied at the library as a study aid.

NIU senior William Angel, a history major and reserve room worker, said this week has been especially busy with students requesting old tests to study from.

“Many students are coming in and copying old Math 210 and biology exams,” Angel said.

However, not all instructors offer old tests to be copied and not all of the classes are represented in the reserve room.

Certain history, math, English, economics, statistics, music and biology courses are usually offered, Angel said.

“There are many tests available, but these are the most popular requests from students,” he said. “This is probably because most of the tests are from general education classes. There are very few upper level old exams that we have on file.”

It is the teacher’s discretion whether or not to provide the reserve room with old tests, said Stanley Trail, assistant chair of mathematics. “It’s not a departmental thing,” he said.

Although the old tests are available, they don’t guarantee success.

NIU senior Mike Kerrigan, a communications major, said that he used the reserve room to copy a test for his Math 210 class a few semesters ago. “It really didn’t help me. It gave me the format of the exam, but that was about it,” he said.

However, NIU junior John Pavlak, a communications major, said that the reserve room was very helpful. “It definitely helped. I’ve copied exams for music, accounting and economics,” he said. “They gave me a general overview of what the tests were going to be like and helped me prepare for certain questions.”