Last-week tests evaluate cumulative knowledge
During their first period biology final, freshmen finish filling out an unlabeled cell diagram. The test is one of many for the freshmen, who also completed an in-class essay for their English class.
After a semester of assignments culminating to quizzes culminating to tests, the year's efforts have finally climaxed in the week-long ordeal called finals. Whether the evaluations manifest as presentations, math essays or comprehensive tests, the stress of the last week of the year, according to students, is sometimes unsurpassed by any other.
"Finals are stressful," Zack Jackson, '11, said. "I study until I go to bed, but there are times where I just wing it. The hardest final was English because it was long, and the easiest was geometry because I'm good at it."
During the weeks before finals take place, teachers prepare students for the dreaded final.
"For each of my classes we review differently," Jane Gillespie, math teacher, said. "In geometry I give them review packets and in algebra we quickly review over chapters and key points. Some students they take advantage of this opportunity and they do very well, while others not so much. Last year, about 70 percent passed the final, and I hope this year and future years it continues to grow."
After hearing the reputation for grueling finals, upperclassmen sometimes try scare freshmen. But many say they have been pleasantly surprised.
"Finals are easier than I thought they would be," Ashley Erickson, '13, said. "I stressed out for no reason. So far my English final is the hardest because it's an in-class essay and I hate writing essays. High school finals are about the same difficulty as junior high except math and English are harder, but that is expected since the work load is different."
In addition to dealing with stress, an "escape" complex is sometimes reported.
"I'm glad finals week is almost over and I'm so looking forward to Christmas break where I don't have to come to school for three weeks." -- Garrett Childs, '13
"I can't wait until Christmas break so finals will be over. But so far I've done better on the finals than I have all year," Amanda Merzon, '12, said. "I understand the material pretty well, but the final I'm dreading is Spanish. Spanish tends to be more difficult because remembering the tenses can be very hard."
After enduring finals week, many students look forward to Christmas break as a sort of "light at the end of the tunnel."
"So far finals haven't been too difficult," Garrett Childs, '13, said. "Bible was the hardest because I don't feel the material was taught well. My easiest final was math because I know the material very well. I'm glad finals week is almost over and I'm so looking forward to Christmas break where I don't have to come to school for three weeks."
For more information, read the May 27 article, Finals wrack nerves.