Earlier finals cause students more stress

img_1461Valeria Vesco | Conant Crier

As everyone is looking forward to the upcoming break, one obstacle still stands in the way: finals. For the 2016-2017 school year, the schedule has been changed so that finals are before break and dangerously close to Christmas. Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to our old schedule and have two more weeks in warm weather compared to being stuck inside all day during the winter? And to have two weeks of break to study for finals rather than cramming a couple days before? If finals were after break students would be well rested and much more prepared.

Having finals early takes more of a toll on students. It’s hard to study when there is new content coming in every day. The final review packets create an even heftier workload on students than they already have at the end of the second quarter. Certain classes, such as those in the World Language department, start their finals a week before the actual final exam period, adding additional stress on students. At this time, students are balancing extracurricular activities with schoolwork, which already causes a lot of stress. Right now, when there is so much going on, it’s not a good idea to cram in finals.

Many teachers stress the importance of doing well on finals. But this year, there have been tests and projects due a few days before finals start. Unlike other tests, finals can’t be studied for over the weekend because they cover everything learned over the whole semester for each class. On average that’s about six finals for each student to prepare for in a short period of time. Having finals after break not only gives students time to relax, but also to get some studying done.

It may seem like the schedule is the same as second semester finals last year, but those finals took place when the year started to wind down. Students had a much longer review period at the end of the year compared to now. During the second semester, the final chapters of the curriculum are wrapped up before the actual final, giving the students enough time to ask questions and review all that material. It seems a lot more rushed this year than last year. There are less days to review and an impending risk of a snow day, which could lead to one less review day. It’s too hard to study old material when students still have more material being thrown at them.

Finals play a really big part of the total grade. They are worth 20% of the total grade, meaning that in some student’s cases, it can make or break their grades.The district has adapted to the new collegiate schedule just to prepare us for college. But what the district doesn’t understand is that this can actually impact students’ grades. Good grades do matter to students because it can lead them to a good college, meaning that they have to perform well on their finals. Right now, finals should be the main priority of students, but they are overshadowed by all the additional stressors at this time.

It’s still hard to believe that finals are already here. Students don’t have the proper mentality to be taking finals right now. They need a break to recharge after all the stressful weeks. Also, students probably have to do a lot of planning for the upcoming holidays over break. Students need a well rested and clear mind to fully focus on finals, and they would have that after break. Right now they should be focused on getting a good quarter grade and finishing the semester strong.

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24 Responses

  1. stoerp7278@students.d211.org' Maddie Stoerp says:

    I’m glad we don’t have to take finals after break, but finals plus the holidays killed me

  2. saputra1173@students.d211.org' Bianca says:

    Having finals earlier made me cram a lot more for finals this year!

  3. gurnani1516@students.d211.org' Chaahat Gurnani says:

    Finals always cause a lot of stress, no matter what time of the year they occur, and students always have to study hard considering that they play such a crucial part in deciding our final semester grade. So isn’t it just better to knock them out before break ? This way we’re able to enjoy our time off, without having anything to worry about and we can start afresh once we get back.

  4. Giuliano1404@students.d211.org' Alex Giuliano says:

    In my opinion I thought finals before break were way better, leaving me with a break full of no stress.

  5. Bustmante4271@students.d211.org' Jonathan Bustamante says:

    I liked having finals a little bit earlier this year because I had less stress over the break. Last year was way more stressful because I had to study over my break and didn’t have as much time to spend time with my family.

  6. agarwal2273@students.d211.org' Anubhav Agarwal says:

    Finals before break left me no time to prepare as teachers were scrambling to finish teaching material and students had to study for regular tests that occured 3-4 days before finals.

  7. song1623@students.d211.org' Esther says:

    Break has always been wasted since I can’t relax or study properly so as long as we’re still learning up to the days before finals for both occassions, we might as well take finals before and that way I can try to go back to school with a new year mentality

  8. hintz4902@students.d211.org' Elyse Hintz says:

    I feel like having finals before break are nice, but if students are given more time to prepare for said finals, then they will do much better and have a stress-free break to spend with family and friends. And plus, when we do come back, we can start fresh and have a chance to learn something new.

  9. Floyd6092@students.d211.org' Anna says:

    Finals are so much of a hassle because we rush around and study like crazy not even getting to enjoy the holidays. Being let out of school the day of Christmas Eve is unfair to kids because you have no excitement for the holidays. Instead we are studying hard and worrying about grades. But I do believe having finals before break is the better option.

  10. cornwell3855@students.d211.org' Nathan Cornwell says:

    Though having finals before break means more work in December, being able to completely relax during Winter Break was so worth it.

  11. Celarek3100@students.d211.org' Katie says:

    I liked finals before break because I was completely stress free during the holiday break! But I understand and see where you’re coming from.

  12. Charzard@gmail.com' Adithya Chari says:

    I like early finals

  13. Naira4124@students.d211.org' Anthony Naira says:

    Earlier Finals may cause students more stress, however I personally feel that having them before break is much better than having it after break. A stress-free winter break is always nice. And I’d rather be able to talk to my teachers whenever I need help whereas the teachers might be on vacation during break, causing some issues.

  14. hitesha.savaliya@yahoo.com' Hitesha Savaliya says:

    I was loving how finals were before break this year to realize how much more work we have to do to be able to have finals before break. I do like it to a point only because we do not have to worry about anything during break which causes me to relax a lot more.

  15. epich1416@students.d211.org' han says:

    there are going to be students and staff who are against early finals, and there are going to be student and staff that are for early finals; and least they can all agree that finals suck, in terms of student’s mental health, in terms of the amount of content that needs to be studied, and in terms of the fact that finals exist at all, just to judge students on their ability to memorize, instead of the ability to comprehend, or, on the flip side, their ability to pace themselves, their ability to find the learning style that works for them, their ability to find time to sleep, study, go to school, extracurriculars, etc. i think instead of discussing the date of finals and how it affects students, we should be discussing the pressure finals put on students, which the article does touch on, but not enough. the district shouldn’t be having discussions about the date and the time; they should be having discussion on the curriculum, the weight of finals on grades, and the difficulty and content of the exams themselves.

  16. patel5832@students.d211.org' Himal Patel says:

    Having finals before break was indeed stressful. Teachers had to wrap up abruptly and students had to finish everything quickly, leaving little time to study for finals. Although, I feel it was better for them to happen before break because this way break was stress free, and I could stay calm throughout it for once. This led into a new mindset and fresh start for the new year.

  17. mcdonald1724@students.d211.org' Jenna McDonald says:

    This year was WAY too rushed. Some teachers didn’t even have a final review packet, they just had a bunch of Kahoots and sent us on our way. In those classes I talked with students and they felt very unprepared, and just went into the final with a semi closed mind feeling they’d fail. To me, the couple weeks before finals seemed like every week was a cram week, trying to toggle between finals packets, study guides ( thick might I add.) for tests teachers decided to try to squeeze in. Pretty much it felt like a couple weeks of never ending tests with stress plus Christmas break on the brain.

  18. garcia1497@students.d211.org' Diego Garcia says:

    I felt like it was a lot better having them early. To be on a fresh start when you get back feels so much better than knowing you’ll be stressed all break over screwed up grades and hard finals. I liked finals before break way better.

  19. Shah7579@students.d211.org' Nima shah says:

    I liked having finals before break because I got to enjoy my break and not stress about finals or spend time studying and doing final packets.

  20. Patel3273@students.d211.org' Rohan says:

    I liked having finals before break because all the information is fresh in your mind where as if finals were after break, you may have forgotten some stuff over the long 2 week break. Another reason is some students go to other cities for vacation like I did, and studying/preparing for finals would’ve taken time away from enjoying the vacation. You didn’t pay to go on vacation to sit in a room and study for finals, you went to relive your mind of all the work from the semester. So I think finals before break may be less stressful for everyone.

  21. jess2939@students.d211.org' Carson Jess says:

    Finals are only stressful if you procrastinate the entire semester.

  22. Corbett8237@students.d211.org' Sophie C says:

    Since I was traveling over winter break and would’ve had no time to study for upcoming finals, having the finals before winter break was very nice!

  23. hermione.granger@gmail.com' Hermione Granger says:

    I don’t know about Conant, but finals here at Hogwarts aren’t stressful at all!

  24. Murray3057@students.d211.org' Anne Murray says:

    It was hard trying to study for finals when my classes were still teaching new materials, but I paced my studying for finals in advance which really helped lessen the load. It was pretty rushed and crammed, but having a real break for two weeks was worth it.

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