Silence of the exams hits campus

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A quieter campus, busier library and thousands of stressed-looking students are key signs that university exams are in full swing.
University of Otago second semester exams started yesterday and will end on November 12.
More than 13,000 University of Otago students will sit 532 exams in the three-and-a-halfweek exam period, which adds up to 40,766 exam sittings.
Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) president Laura Harris said a quiet campus meant students were studying hard.
‘‘The quietening down of students walking to and from lectures is the biggest telltale sign that exams have begun.’’
Ms Harris said the OUSA’s 24-hour study space started this week, allowing students to continue studying when the library had closed.
‘‘That will be a telling sign as to whether or not students are flocking to those areas.’’
It would be the second time OUSA had run the study space, she said.
‘‘It was done last semester as a pilot and we were inundated. People just quietly came into our building, set up their laptops . . .set up all the tables.’’
There had been a good response from students about the space and she hoped it would encourage the library to extend its hours, Ms Harris said.
OUSA student support manager Philippa Keaney said the end of the year caused stress for some students.
‘‘We do have a lot more people who are experiencing not just exam stress but financial stress because it’s the end of the year.’’
Stress was brought on by a combination of things, such as tenancy issues, Ms Keaney said.
‘‘Students are considering what’s going to happen when they go home, how do they get their bond back. So all of these things are often going on at the same time as the studying.’’
Ms Harris said despite the stress, students were in high spirits.
‘‘There’s an end-of-year vibe.’’