Finals should occur before Christmas Break

Melanie Macioce, Reporter

This week, only the 2nd one back since Christmas break, students are immersed in final exams, and many have forgotten some of the information they learned beforehand.  Not only that, but students are also stressed about Keystones and many are working at this year’s Farm Show, which happens to conflict with the final schedule.

Before break, students go to class every day, learn new information, and retain the old information.  Then on Dec. 23, all structure and education are gone.  Many students are celebrating the holidays at home.  They are not in school retaining the information learned before break.  Freshman Logan Logan said,  “On a scale of 1 to 10 of being stressed out, I’m at a 9.5.  Right now, I have to reteach myself basically everything from the beginning of the year to before break.  Students nowadays have declined in the art of note taking.  Remembering information from 18 weeks ago, then having a break in between, is hard on students.”  If finals were taken before break, Logan and many other students would not have to relearn the curriculum.

Another reason finals is placed at the wrong time is because of Keystones happening the week before.  The Algebra I, English II and Biology students have to take the Keystones.  This year, Keystones are taken over one day, not spread over a few days.  After the Keystone testing week is finals week.  Keystone students are coming from one stressful-testing environment to another.  Logan, who took the Biology Keystone this semester said, “Having Keystones the week before finals is making me have to think about two things at once,  in addition to making me miss class.   When I missed class, I could have easily missed an important part to my final.”   Finals are 20% of the student’s grade, so they can majorly affect a student’s overall grade.  Having Keystones before finals could have a major impact on their overall score.  If finals happened before break, students would not encounter this stressful situation of back to back Keystones and finals.  

Finally, this year the Pennsylvania Farm Show is occurring the same week as finals. The Future Farmers of America (FFA) Students are missing some, if not all, of their finals to compete.  The Farm Show runs from Jan. 8-16 and finals run the 13-15.  With FFA students having mandatory competition, their final scores have the possibility of being affected.  Freshmen Lizzie Bumbarger is missing Wednesday to compete in the Farm Show.  This means her period 2 midterm and her period 5 final will have to be rescheduled.  Bumbarger said, “I’m ticked about the situation.  My finals grades probably will be affected and I won’t do as well as I hoped.”  Bumbarger has to make up the final during flex time, which is a 40 minute period as compared to the 90 minute period allotted for finals.  The Farm Show would not be an issue during finals week if finals took place before the break occurred.

The obvious solution to this wide spread problem is to conduct finals before Christmas break.  If this happens, the majority of problems would be gone.  There would be no schedule conflicts and students wouldn’t forget information over break.  However, if finals happened before break, school would have to start three weeks earlier.   As one can see, taking finals before break would benefit students in many ways.