The Most Stressful Time of the Year

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The Most Stressful Time of the Year

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For many people, the weeks leading up to the end of the year are the most joyous: filled with holidays, lights, decorations, cookies. For at least a minute, there is celebration as we forget about our problems and try to focus on the good. But for high school students, this is not the case. Instead the holiday season is filled with stress.

It’s that time of the year again–when students collectively complain about their workload in the weeks leading up to winter break and the end of the semester. Students can unanimously agree that final exams are one of the most stressful times of high school. Not only is there the actual final exam, teachers must catch up on the planned curriculum. So, they start assigning more homework and projects to ensure they meet their deadline. The cumulative exams force students to review material they learned months ago in an effort to ensure they have retained that information. Final exams motivate students to review what they have been taught. But as the work piles up, students stress out. They work to maintain a healthy lifestyle during this crunch time. It’s a struggle to find time to relax. All the studying, reading, and writing is stressful at the moment; however, the best feeling is when the pencil goes down at the end of the day and there’s no need to ever think about that material again–until the next semester begins.

Cramming in a semester’s worth of learning and counting it for the majority of one’s grade probably isn’t the best way to measure how much a student has learned. One exam cannot possibly evaluate a student’s overall understanding of a subject. They are extremely stressful for students and incredibly tedious for teachers to grade. The fact that there are finals in each subject makes it even more taxing. Instead of just one test, students are worried about six more.

There is a necessity to rethink what a final should entail. It shouldn’t be looked at as the thing standing between the student and their passing grade, as it is the make-or-break point for many people. When a grade hinges on just one test, it is impossible to thoroughly assess a student’s capabilities.

In any case, finals are exceedingly damaging to students. A series of short, more scattered tests would be a much better way to measure a student’s true performance. Students take classes in order to learn, not to stress out about one exam.