How to IMSA: How to Cop a Round (And Other Finals-Related Advice)

However tempted you might be, never ask your English teachers for a round. Really. Just don't. Photo source: Flickr.

With finals approaching, students are anxiously plugging their current class grades into RogerHub, wondering how well they’ll need to do on their finals in order to preserve their ever so precious GPAs. “You need to score an 85% on your final to end with a 90 in the class. Good luck!” RogerHub might say.

What happens to the students who write something like “1 + 1 = 3” on their test and barely miss the cutoff?

Note: The Acronym and its affiliates assume no responsibility for any personal (GPA or otherwise) damage sustained as a result of attempting the advice in this column.

  1. Don’t ask English teachers for a round. Unlike many departments at IMSA, the English department has a rigid no-rounding policy. Your time is much better spent studying for other classes’ final exams than writing a 2000-word essay to your English teacher about why your grade should be rounded.
    • Although admittedly, “Why I Should Get a Round” would be a great topic for sophomores writing their LE I mock essays.
  2. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you need a round to begin with. Really. Asking for a round can be kind of awkward. Aim to not need a round when preparing for finals.
  3. Give your teachers a reason to help you out. Don’t be a complete teacher’s pet, but also don’t constantly be on your phone during class. Teachers will be far more sympathetic to your GPA plight if they know that you were trying your best during the semester.
  4. Prioritize your final exams. Some final exams are more important than others, because they count for a greater percentage of your grade. More importantly, some classes might simply be a lost cause (ex. a perma-B), and they aren’t worth your valuable study time.
  5. Organize your final exam study time. If you memorize facts better in the morning, study for your LE final exam in the morning. If you prefer solving math problems in the afternoon, study for your math final then. For instance, I find Python programming pretty relaxing, so I made CSI studying an after-10-check problem.
  6. Go to study sessions, but don’t count on them as productive work time. As Vidhi Singh (‘20) commented, “Most study sessions just turn into meme-the-teacher sessions.” A good practice is to keep a running list of questions as you work through your homework. Then go to a study session and ask all of your questions at once. This method is also good for time management: the most time I’ve ever spent at a given study session is 30 minutes. If you do enjoy attending study sessions, find a group of students who help you to use your time wisely.
  7. And of course, if you really need a round, ask politely.


Title credits & special thanks to Vidhi Singh (‘20) for her valuable thoughts and insights on this topic.

About the Author

Grace Yue
Grace Yue is a senior from Des Plaines. She's the Opinions section editor for the second year running, a resident of 03A-wing for the third year running, and an honorary resident of 06 for the third year running. Outside of Acronym, she participates in a research project at Fermilab, serves as 03 Head Tutor, and writes for the Korea Daily Chicago's Student Reporters Club.

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