Opinions: second hour final after break
December 17, 2019
Problem-solvers and whiners: One final after break is not devastating
The snow must have carried a sick disease or something that made high-schoolers complain about a snow day.
On Monday, Dec. 16, Dr. Havener sent an email stating schools within the KSD are canceled on Dec. 17; the second hour final will take place after winter break.
Some students are upset, claiming that they 1) won’t have review time before other finals and 2) will have to study over winter break which will stress them out.
But before we embark on finals, I’m here to give one final review: a review on basic problem-solving as young adults.
Issue #1: No time for last-minute questions before finals.
Since January 2018, all KHS students have been lucky enough to have access to our very own, MacBook Airs. And with this gift comes the gift a beautiful tool called the internet.
Google, Khan Academy, Quizlet, you name it. If you search your question, the Internet will more likely than not give you some sort of hint. Not to mention Google Classroom and Schoology sites our teachers have set up with materials from all units.
Can’t find what you’re looking for there? Try your phone. I’m sure one of your classmates on Snapchat or Instagram can help explain a concept or two. Better yet, FaceTime or phone a friend. They won’t bite.
And if at that point, not a single soul on the Internet or in your friends list has the answer, I bet the person who teaches the subject might. Email your teacher with questions or schedule a time you could meet with them before or after school.
Unless you are taking AP Physics, this stuff is not rocket science.
Issue #2: Studying for one final over break won’t allow me to enjoy my break.
I hear you. Over winter break, the only thing I want to measure is the sugar for my cookies and the only things I want to study are the gifts under the tree. Winter break is the time to relax, which can still be done.
KHS students have 16 days off this year for winter break, stretching from Saturday, Dec. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 5. Rest assured for the rest of 2019, my second hour materials will be nice and cozy in my backpack.
As for break, it’s time to compartmentalize. Take some time for relaxation, and then for the last few days of break, (or if we are being honest, Jan. 5 at about 5 p.m.) bring your second hour folder out of its hibernation.
And for some of you, you won’t even have a final to review for with a second hour IP or class that doesn’t do traditional finals. Yes, it will be stressful to cram, but wouldn’t we still be cramming the night before anyway?
The rescheduling gives us more time to study for our other six finals. If anything, this added time should relieve stress, not add to it, an early holiday gift from KSD.
The finals fiasco: Why taking exams after break is outrageous
Bundled up by the fire, sledding down large hills, catching snowflakes on your tongue and watching cheesy Hallmark movies: Winter break should be spent this way, not studying for finals.
That’s why when I heard Dr. Havener announce an exam will be after break due to a second snow day, I was outraged.
I will admit, I am one of the lucky ones. The only final I will be missing is AP Language and Composition, which I’ve been repeatedly told not to study for.
However, being the perfectionist and worrier I am, that is not the case. Instead, I will be reviewing the fundamental pieces of our essays (curse you, précis) and making sure I have the different rhetorical devices mastered.
But what about the unlucky students? The ones who already dedicated hours to mastering content from months ago and will now forget it once again. Or the ones who already completed their final review guides and have no more work left to help them.
When taking tests that determine close to 20% of your grade in each subject, students should not have to rely on second-hand website information or re-relearned content.
According to psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, roughly 75% of information is forgotten over a span of six days. Finals should be taken while information is still fresh in the minds of students and they can get help from teachers in person.
I, for one, also feel more inclined to study when I’ve been learning in school for weeks already. After relaxing during break, it will feel like torture to drag my backpack out and dust off my binders.
The only things I want to open during the 16 days off of school are presents, not my laptop. If anything qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment, it’s making students test the day after break.
After students’ brains have been so tuned out during break, it will be difficult to focus on a test or essays for two hours straight.
On the weekends I can hardly focus on my homework Sunday evening, let alone after 16 days without school. I know these days may seem like a precious gift to study, but that’s studying students have already done.
Many students already feel unmotivated to study for finals the first time, imagine how disconnected students would feel to the content if they had to for a second time. KHS should have three finals on one of the other testing days rather than putting the remaining exam off.
I know those with an easy second hour that doesn’t require much studying may feel detached from the issue, but fight for your fellow students. How would you feel if you had to take your most difficult final 20 days later than you were supposed to?
Stressed? Disappointed? Frustrated? You tell me.
Taking finals after winter break is unfair to KHS students and the extra time just allows for more forgotten content. The 16 days free of school should be spent sleeping and smiling, not studying.