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Final exams greatly impact students, teachers

English+Teacher%2C+Abigail+Ferritto%2C+spends+some+time+planning+and+creating+her+final+exam.
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Final exams greatly impact students, teachers

English Teacher, Abigail Ferritto, spends some time planning and creating her final exam.

English Teacher, Abigail Ferritto, spends some time planning and creating her final exam.

Julianna Szigeti

English Teacher, Abigail Ferritto, spends some time planning and creating her final exam.

Julianna Szigeti

Julianna Szigeti

English Teacher, Abigail Ferritto, spends some time planning and creating her final exam.

Julianna Szigeti, Guest Writer

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May twenty-fourth.

That is the day final exams begin. Finals are just around the corner, and not only do they affect the students that take them, but they also impact the staff members.

Principal Jeffrey Legan knows that final exams have a large impact on students’ grades, but he also believes that if the student is putting in a strong effort, they will do fine.

He said, “If we’re giving traditional tests and the student is not a good test taker, it probably has a negative effect on them, but its 20% of the grade. If the student is putting in time working with the teacher, then I’m sure they will be okay.”  

Sophomore Lola Koch thinks that some one on one time is the key to some students’ success. She said, “[Teachers should] meet with them and ask them what areas they are struggling with.”

Not only do they affect a student grades, they also affect a student’s mental state according to Jarrod Muhleman, the assistant principal for curriculum and staff development.  He said, “If you have a ton of exams in one day or over two days, trying to study and cram for those exams can be difficult and can add to stress and anxiety for kids.”

English teacher Abigail Ferritto agrees that finals can affect a students mental health but believes that it all depends on the individual.

Ferritto said, “Everybody is different, so I think some people don’t stress about finals and they can do fine on them and they’ve really retained the information. It’s just a lot to retain and when you’re figuring out what your study style is, and it can be really hard at times. It can be stressful for students who are working on developing that and also students who just get anxiety in general it can be really hard for them.”

Koch feels that the scheduling should be different. She said, “I think we should put one test on each day so we don’t stress as much.”

Finals have a large impact on students, but it also impacts the teachers who have to create, distribute, and grade the exams.

Muhleman believes that creating a test can be challenging for the teachers who make them.

He said,“It’s daunting to create an assessment that can effectively measure students’ understanding of a whole semester, eighteen weeks worth of material, and then the grading that goes along with that in a timely fashion. So you have to grade it and turn it around in a few days so that you can have a semester grade. It’s stressful for teachers as well due to the amount of students they have.”  

Legan agrees that the final grading period can be time consuming for the faculty members. He said, “For teachers, it’s really hard to grade everything in a timely manner. I think about our English teachers if they want students to write an essay. To be able to read through that essay and grade it for 140 students, that [can be] really time consuming for them.”

Ferritto and the rest of the English department put in a group effort to create the exams. She said,“[The process of creating exams] could be hard and stressful sometimes when perhaps we have taught a text or when we don’t have enough time to work together on it, but overall it’s a really good team effort most of the time. It takes a lot of research, we spend time looking at different sources and different websites or premade tests that would provide questions that would work for us.

There are also other complications go along with finals, such as cutting an exam or not showing up at all according to Legan.  He said, “Kids not showing up for finals and not calling in so [the school/staff] don’t know what’s going on normally means  the student fails for the semester. Kids cutting their finals, vacations, kids getting sick, [and] other issues that arise.“

Legan also does not believe that finals are fully necessary as long as there is some sort of way to test a students knowledge in a class. He believes that creating projects could greatly decrease a students stress level.

He said, “I’m more of a project driven person so I think a project allows you to apply what you’ve learned in a relevant and authentic way. Honestly I think that having projects done in class and also allowing students the flexibility to work on it outside of class [would be better].”

No matter how your semester ends, it is most important to wrap up all projects and papers to best allow yourself time to study and prepare.

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