Move Second Semester Finals One Week Earlier

Libby Dunne, Staff Writer

It’s the last week of school, and all Miramonte students can think about is their upcoming summer: summer plans, sleeping in and stress-free days. Even though students are waiting in anticipation for summer, they need to focus on the final days of the school year because they need to study for second semester finals. This school-wide distraction can affect how students do on these extremely important tests, and therefore, spring finals should not take place during the last week of school.
Spring finals are possibly the most important set of tests a student takes all year because they can determine one’s final grade, so Miramonte students need to be very focused when studying for them, which is a challenge with summer just around the corner.
Many students miss the last few days of school to go on summer trips or for sports, making it hard for them and their teachers to arrange a time during school beforehand to take the test. This is hard to do because the two hours allowed to take the final would take away from the final class periods before testing in not just one, but multiple class periods.
“I am missing finals because my crew team is traveling for national championships. I am going to be missing Thursday and Friday finals, when I have 4 important classes. It is inconvenient for me because I have to cram my studying and test taking into the two days before I leave instead of four which will be really stressful and a lot of tests in a small time period,” sophomore Liz Hofinga said.
If a student is sick during the last week of school, they need to make up their final during the first week of summer which may interfere with commitments for the student. There are no more school days after finals, so Miramonte students don’t get the chance to make the test up during school if they are unexpectedly absent. Therefore, the student must take the time out of their busy summer schedule to take the test.
Also, after finals, teachers are pushed to get all their tests graded before final grades are due. Moving finals a week earlier would give teachers more time to grade final exams, input semester grades, and finalize scores before they are due.
Making finals the second to last week of school also gives students the chance to ask their teachers any questions they have about the final, or their grade in the class. This ensures that the grades are accurately imputed and students have the chance to get their completed worksheets returned before the end of the school year.
The last day of class is the day you take your final, so students don’t get a chance to look at the test afterwards to see what they got wrong. This doesn’t benefit the students because they don’t know what questions they missed and can’t learn from their mistakes on this important test.
The whole point of taking finals is to learn and review everything from that class, but it is ineffective when students don’t know what information they are getting wrong or don’t know.
Many teachers and even some students argue that if finals took place on the second to last week of school, the final week would be pointless and not beneficial to students. What they may not realize is the last week of school could be spent going over the final test and discussing questions that many students missed. This would also give students a chance to say goodbye to their teachers and fellow students in a less stressed and competitive environment.
Spring finals should be the second to last week of school, because without all the distractions, students may on average do better on their finals than if they were the last week of school.