As the school year comes to an end, students are preparing for their end-of-year exams before they can enjoy their summer.
Senior Ilana Miller is one of the many students focusing on AP exams, as she has five to take this spring. She said, “I’m definitely feeling the stress. To prepare, I’m doing my best to use the resources my teachers have given me, and I plan to spend time looking over my notes and focusing on the concepts I still don’t understand completely.”
Vaishnavi Nayak, a senior who’s preparing for six AP exams, also thinks this is a stressful time. “I have the added stress of trying to get college credit. That means I have to try my hardest to pass and get a good grade,” Nayak said.
Even though the exams begin in May and students have much time to prepare, Nayak worries some of her peers mismanage their time. She said, “If you’re like most students, you’ll cram in a week instead of prepping over a month in advance. If there’s anything I can recommend for underclassmen, it’s to prepare and create a schedule really early, so it cuts out most of that stress.”
Miller thinks studying is important, but she also wants to consider her mental health. She said, “I’m taking breaks to spend time with family, play with my dog, or participate in other activities that I enjoy.”
Nayak’s sister, Vishista, is a freshman who just finished end-of-course (EOC) exams last week, and now she feels anxious about upcoming final exams later this month. “There’s a lot of pressure to keep your grades and GPA high, and knowing that it’ll affect your college decisions. Sometimes I don’t want to go to school, but I know I can’t run away from my problems and deal with them later,” Vishita said.
Another freshman, Leo Shi, says the year has taken a toll on him, and he often procrastinates on his work. “Of course it’s not effective time management, but I’ve lost so much motivation that it seems that anytime I try to do an assignment, I get sidetracked to do something else. That leads to a lot of stress, but I’m used to it by now,” Shi said.
Shi admits that his parents have high expectations for him, which only adds to the stress of doing well academically down the stretch. He said, “I was raised in a household where good grades were synonymous to having a good life. In other words, expectations are what really kill me.”
For Vishita, she’s also pushed to meet or exceed high expectations. She said, “It’s hard trying to be at the top of your class, doing a lot of sports and a bunch of clubs. Studying for big tests is also pretty hard when you’ve got out of school work like volunteering, playing instruments, and learning languages.”
While EOC exams just ended, AP tests started this week, and final exams for grades 9-11 will start on May 24.