Finals take control
Finals week is perhaps the most stressful week of a typical high schooler’s school year. Everything about these awful three days is terrifying to students. The preperation for the tests, the horrific last minute studying for the final the next morning, the freaking out during the test, and the scary after-thoughts all usually happen for most students during these sad times. Students are going to need to get used to these rigorous three days since there are a total of two finals weeks per one school year. This means that a student will go through finals week eight times during high school.
One of the good things about finals is the timing schedule. Students’ classes are spread out through a total of three days; Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. However, the schedule is a little bit confusing for a newcomer. Zero, fifth, and sixth period finals all happen on the first day: Wednesday. Following those on Thursday are the first and second period finals. Lastly are the third and fourth period finals on Friday. For Freshmen, this schedule is quite new to their minds, but for Seniors, they already know the schedule well since they have gone through it so many times. For Freshman Sarah Mayorga, the interesting schedule doesn’t worry her. “I am only nervous for taking the tests on the subjects that I know will be difficult,” she said. She seems slightly nervous about finals, but for a Freshman, she seems very confident.
Preparing for finals is very important. Some teachers allow students to have notes on their tests, or maybe just a page of notes. Some do not allow any notes at all. Everything is different, depending on the teacher. Seeing as many students have up to seven different teachers with seven different rules for finals, students must be on top of preparation. Sophomore Natalie Peron has already prepared for her finals. She has been helping herself study by doing study guides, practice problems, re-reading chapters, and many other things. Seeing as Natalie has already had some finals experience, she knows what to expect from them. Sarah Mayorga doesn’t have quite the same knowledge as Peron since she hasn’t taken any finals yet this year. However, she is doing well preparing herself for her own tests as well.
Usually students know which subjects will be easy to take a test on and which subjects will be hard to have a test on. For example, you would expect the Honors and AP classes to have harder finals than maybe an elective test. “I am expecting my Honors Chemistry, Algebra 2, and English finals to be the most difficult,” says Peron. Since she already has this idea, she is able to focus more on those subjects than her other ones, to ensure that she gets a good grade on them.
One of the scariest things about finals is how they actually affect your entire grade. Some teachers make their finals hardly worth anything, but most teachers make their finals worth around 10% of your final grade. Now this does not mean that your grade can actually go up or down 10%, but it can change it a few percent. Natalie does not agree with this at all. “I don’t think that they should be worth that much of your grade, especially when a student works hard all semester by doing their homework, and they are a bad test taken and their final grade goes down,” she says. “I think that is horrible.”
Overall finals stress students out. I would advise you to leave a stressed student alone for a while, since their typical happy mood might be a little different than normal. Once finals are over with, many students feel free, relieved, and much happier. After this Friday, students can officially begin enjoying their Christmas break.