The 411 on Finals

Grace Hilty

It’s that time of year again. Winter break has come to its tragic end, and finals are rapidly approaching. Miramonte, a campus usually bustling with social activity and talk of weekend plans, is nearly dormant. Our students’ minds have entered ‘finals mode,’ a mindset that rejects socialization in place of bookwork, review, and meetings with teachers.

We, as upperclassmen, finally have it down. Each semester, we begin declining social invitations several weeks before finals officially begin. Facebook participation decreases rapidly, evidenced by the severe lack of hourly ‘status updates.’ Stress is seen on the faces of each and every MHS student.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors know exactly what they’re getting themselves into; freshmen have no idea.

In order to clue the freshmen into the finals’ craze, Mirador asked Miramonte’s upperclassmen to reveal information that they wish they had known prior to their first finals.

“Procrastination isn’t worth it. Don’t lay off studying for a particular subject until the night before that final.”

-Shannon McMahon, Senior

Mirador’s Response: We agree. Everyone has procrastinated on a huge assignment at least once in his or her life. For the best of us, this situation is reoccurring in our lifetimes. Well, finals are more important than the largest project you have ever procrastinated. Start early because it is impossible to cram all of the information you have learned in the past semester into a one-night study session. If you are able to prove us wrong, please tell us.

“On test day, pace yourself. Before starting the test, make sure you know how many questions there are. Look through the final and see which parts will be the most difficult.”

-Faith Engstrom, Senior

Mirador’s Response: A watch can really help you pace yourself! Make sure you know how long you can spend on each section of the final. The total time of the final period is two hours, but often teachers break this time up into separate test sections.

“This may sound cheesy, but eat a healthy and balanced breakfast before school.”

-Alex Nicolaou, Senior


Mirador’s Response: According to Scholastic (the same company that produces many of our textbooks), “breakfast is the food of champions — not just athletic stars, but academic ones too.” A breakfast full of protein, calcium, and vitamins will focus your mind and allow you to think about the test rather than your grumbling stomach.

“Bring everything that you may need throughout the test.”

-Mirador Senior


Mirador’s Response: This includes a watch, a calculator (or two), pens and pencils, good erasers, a book or other study materials should you finish early, and any other materials that you may need. Ask your teacher for clarification.

“I wish someone had told me that your grade point average in freshman year really makes a difference. At the time, I didn’t think about how important my tests and finals were. If I could change one thing, I would go back and try harder on my first finals.”

-Mirador Senior


Mirador’s Response: As a general rule, more than 50% of our school feels this same way. Many MHS students’ main regrets consist of academics and grades from early years at the school. Freshmen: Don’t make this you! Start working hard from the get-go.