Advising Updates

UNL Mathematics
UNL Mathematics

Hello Math Majors,

I hope you are doing well as you work through the final week of classes for the Spring 2023 semester. I hope that your stress levels have been manageable so far, and I want to encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about anything as the semester draws to a close. This week, I want to write about preparing for final exams since having a plan will make things easier for you and reduce your stress.

Final exams can be very stressful things, and I'll admit that I was terrible at studying for them. Thus, I would strongly encourage you to start thinking about how to study for exams sooner rather than later. The Princeton Review has a great article outlining to how prepare for final exams, and here are the key points:

1. Make a finals game plan.
2. Start early.
3. Study in this order: a) definitely b) probably c) might be on the final.
4. Give yourself more time to study for your toughest classes.
5. Form a study group.
6. Talk it out.
7. Get creative with study aids.
8. Study your notes.
9. Quiz yourself.
10. Make sleep a priority. (DO NOT CRAM ALL NIGHT LONG!)
11. Take five.
12. Brain food is real.

You can read the full article at for more information about each of the above 12 points.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind for exam day. First, make sure that you plan for plenty of time to get to your final exam so that you can be on time. Instructors and professors rarely allow for rescheduling final exams especially when you don't have extraordinary circumstances to explain being late or absent. Second, always bring more materials to your exam than you will think you will need. A final exam is a terrible time to run out of pencil lead, pen ink, or scratch paper, and it would be bad time for the batteries in your calculator to die without replacements. Remember Murphy's Law! Third, DO NOT CRAM ALL NIGHT LONG for your final exam in any class! It almost never pays off to do this, and you won't remember any of the important information in the long term. I know that this was mentioned above, but I feel like it is that important. Lastly, remember to have a restroom break before your final exam starts.

I hope these tips help you have a successful final exam week. Please contact your course instructor as soon as possible if something happens that could prevent you from taking your final exam. The worse thing that you can do is not contacting your course instructor if an extraordinary event or circumstance is going to prevent you from sitting for the exam. Things happen, and more often than not, an alternative will be available.

For the Spring 2023 semester, I am taking in-person, Zoom, and phone meetings in 45-minute blocks from 8:30 am to 12:15 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm every weekday outside of my drop-in advising hours, and I am taking drop-in meetings via Zoom only on Mondays and on Fridays from 1 pm to 3 pm.

You can schedule a meeting with me by using the Student Success Hub via this link, by calling the College of Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center at 402-472-4190, by calling me at 402-472-4319, or by emailing me at You can find instructions for how to access and schedule meetings in the Student Success Hub system here. You can also find information about my virtual only drop-in meetings at

Best wishes, Doug

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The Math Department has many upcoming events that might be of interest to you along with a weekly (or almost weekly) colloquium series. A listing of all upcoming Math Department events can be found at

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