Not so fast, Santa! Students ready themselves for final exams


Nick Eichstaedt, News & Student Life Editor

  December can often be a conflicting time for  Guilford students. Most people would like nothing more than to indulge in the Christmas spirit, enjoy their Hanukkah or are just looking  forward to winter break in general. However, the joy of the holiday spirit always comes with the much dreaded stress for the occurrence of finals exams. The cumulative exams are usually given the last week before break and are worth 20% of a student’s semester grade. This school year will be the first time taking the exams for the current freshman class and a whole new experience.

  “We never had any type of tests like this in middle school so I feel like they’re going to be very difficult,” said Eduardo Delgado, freshman. “I started studying the week before finals to be prepared and I’m still working on all the study guides.”

   This type of harsh expectations and urgency to prepare for final exams is fairly common amongst students here, especially for first time test takers who may not know how to prepare themselves. Sometimes the strenuous study habits for finals can also have negative effects on students, as some may experience a lack of sleep due to last minute cramming. Although finals are taken seriously throughout the school, some feel as the level of preparation and importance tend to decrease after taking the exams for freshman year.

  “I think as I’ve got older I’ve decided that finals matter less and less every time I take them because they have never affected my grade significantly,” said Ryan Johnston, senior. “Literally the last week of normal classes has made more of a difference in my grade than finals will.”

  There appears to be a decline in the overall value students place on the tests. Many upperclassmen who have taken the exams multiple times feel that the tests seem repetitive because of the cumulative nature. Because of the general disengagement with reviewing already learned topics, especially in  advanced placement class, some teachers tend to create alternative exams. Some teachers’ alternative exams include section tests, papers and even presentations to more accurately assess student learning. One potential reason for students’ disinterest with final exams is simply because they are burnt out. After working hard for four months some students have trouble focusing for the final stretch.

  “The trend I’ve noticed is that every year students tend to just be exhausted by the time finals roll around,” said Mr. Demetrios Selas, geometry teacher. “ A lot of active students tend to give it their all throughout the first few months of the semester, but by the end students are too worn out to pull it together.”