Opinion: All Exams Should Take Place Before Winter Break


Ben Townsend

Taking exams before Winter Break would make it easier and less stressful for students to study.

For the first time, finals week has been divided into two separate weeks. Students take their core classes the week before winter break and extra curricular finals two weeks after they return from winter break. This final schedule proves highly ineffective because students are likely to forget crucial information after three weeks before their final, exemptions risk being taken away and the importance of extracurricular finals decreases when not taken beside core class finals.

The fall semester should end before the winter break to ensure all finals are completed in an orderly and fair manner and to avoid confusion and disruption of classroom instruction.

Core class finals precedes the winter break, allowing students to take these finals when all the information stays fresh in their minds. Following two weeks after the winter break, students have a hard time remembering crucial information and their chances of doing well decreases because the lack of immersion they had previously when they took their core finals. Moving all finals on the same week ensures students can complete them to the best of their ability and won’t have to worry about trying to remember information over three weeks.

Exemptions allow students to exempt any final if they have missed two days of school at the most during the semester and have an 80 or higher semester grade in that select class. A student who used exemptions during the first week of finals before break risks losing them if they are immediately absent the week following winter break. Two weeks of finals separated so far from each other means previously exempt core finals can be relinquished if a student misses a third day of school. This could be avoided if finals were on the same week at the end of the semester preferably before winter break.

Students stress about core finals because of their seriousness, taking into account that a failed final in a core class can result in failing the course as a whole. Students take weeks leading up to core finals studying relentlessly in hopes of passing. Once core finals are completed, students are rewarded with a break only to return to school to be instructed to take another week of finals for their extracurricular classes. Subsequently, students do not feel the importance they did with their core finals. The break along with the previous core class finals deters them from taking extracurricular finals as seriously as they did weeks previous when they were in the midst of studying.

While some say that the separation allows for students to focus more on a select few subjects, therefore, reducing the stress put on students, having two weeks of finals so far apart actually does the exact opposite. Students have to make sure that their exemptions remain acceptable if they are absent, focus on keeping their grades up a week before another week of finals and the fact they have to take more finals rests in the back of their mind all winter break.

Overall, the semester should end after one week of finals, consisting of all classes, before the winter break. This will ensure that students will complete each final to their full potential and not be interrupted by a long break and weeks of school following before finals. Parents and students should attend school board meetings to express their opinions concerning finals and when the semester will end.

Completing all finals and the semester before winter break would benefit all students in their grades and in their morale.