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A plea to move up final exams

By Kenness Cheung

As winter break ends and finals week nears, students endure an awkward two-week period during which they must transition from vacation mode to an intense study period in preparation for finals.

This year our school’s winter break occurred from Dec. 19 to Jan. 5, leaving students and teachers just two weeks to prepare for finals.  Some would argue that two weeks of preparation suffice because students can choose when to start studying; they do not necessarily need to wait until school reconvenes to prepare.

If finals were moved up to before winter break, however, students could enjoy their well-deserved break with finals out of the way.  Finals bring a lot of stress on students as they may represent a last chance to save a grade for some classes or dictate their grade for the semester for other classes.

For finals to happen earlier, however, school would need to start two weeks earlier than usual and end in May.   Another alternative would be to have uneven semesters by keeping the start and end times for the school year the same, but holding finals before winter break.

After a full semester of hard work, this well deserved two week break could serve as a pause before another semester filled with more hard work, stress  and anxiety.  With Advanced Placement (AP) testing  just a couple of months later, uneven semesters could serve as a bonus for students taking AP classes, as it would allow more time for teachers to focus solely on the curriculum specifically for the AP test.

However, uneven semesters would create conflict for semester-long classes.  For non AP classes, teachers would need to reorganize their curriculum to fit a longer semester for the second half of the school year.

With finals placed after a two-week long winter break as they are now, students are expected to study during this time originally meant as a break from school.  However some may argue that studying for the final can occur throughout the semester; students don’t need to wait until winter break to prepare for finals.  Some students do use this break to relax by travelling, catching up on T.V. shows, spending time with family and friends, or sleeping in, but the anticipation of finals starting in just two weeks still bothers them.

Some might argue that if finals were to be placed before the break, students would be too distracted with the excitement of break just a week away to be able to concentrate on their tests.  However, they seem to forget that many students take their grades very seriously as this one test at the end of the semester dictates their grade for that entire semester of late nights, anxiety and hard work.

Whether school would end up starting earlier or there would be uneven semesters, having finals before break is the best solution for students and teachers.

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