The general consensus of the school body is an overwhelming feeling of distress, and no one seems to be ready, including junior Kajal Patel.
“I feel like there isn’t enough time to learn everything and we feel rushed in a trimester, [which] went by really fast, and I didn’t expect it to be so quick,” Patel said.
Students aren’t the only ones on campus who feel the effect of finals- teachers, such as John Earnest, do as well.
“Let me put it this way,” Earnest said. “I would always like to have more time to cover material. It’s difficult to do everything that we need to do and give students enough time to work through the problems in a way that’s a little more comfortable. Because of the pace that we have to carry through [with], it really leaves students harried and frantic and it doesn’t allow them to just relax and learn.”
In addition, teachers must also write up the finals. Earnest teaches Physics, AP Physics B, and AP Physics C, so he needs to make three different finals.
“The multiple choice goes a little bit quicker because I have a test generator, and that takes probably about, 30 minutes to select good problems,” Earnest said. “The free response actually takes a little bit longer because I make questions and then I solve them just to make sure there [are] no mistakes, so I probably spend an hour on free response.”
Earnest believes that the students who have been doing their homework, keeping up with the material, and asking questions are prepared for the finals. As every student who’s been through finals week knows, these heavily-weighted tests are often the make or break factor in grades, leading to much anxiety and pressure to perform.
“I’m taking four finals, so I need to stay up late,” Patel said. “It’s your last opportunity to bring your grade up, and I have a low grade in a class that I don’t want to drop. Everybody’s stressed out about not getting that much sleep because of studying.”
Despite the burden of finals, it is often forgotten that they are important not only to our grades, but our education.
“Because of the nature of my class, the things that they’ve learned the first trimester, they have to know the second trimester. Everything in this class is cumulative,” Earnest said. “The best thing about finals is that it’s a chance to bring everything together, have one small sense of closure in the things that we’ve been studying and give students a chance to see what they’ve learned, and what they still need to work on.”