Finals Week: A User’s Guide

Amy Milin, ’16

Finals Week — a time of terror and anxiety for many BHSEC students — is almost here, and sensible advice from fellow students may be the only thing that can keep us sane. Isabel Schneck, a Y1, urges caution, saying, “There’s a lot of hype about Finals Week, but if you look at the syllabus, sometimes [the final is] only 10-15% of your grade. That isn’t too bad—you can put it in perspective. If you’re doing well in the class, you don’t need to worry. If you’re not doing well in the class, then go to the teacher throughout [the semester]. The final doesn’t completely determine your grade.” Jasmine George, a Y2, advises the 9th and 10th graders to manage their time. “Start reviewing tests and quizzes earlier in the game instead of the week of finals,” she says. “Two weeks before gives you time to go to teachers and do other things. Don’t cram the night before your test. Relax. Watch some T.V.”

While Y1s and Y2s have become seasoned veterans of finals by now, even the greener 10th graders have insight about how to deal with this stressful time. Geddes Alexander II, a 10th grader, advises to “make sure you’re going into the test with a purpose….set goals for yourself, and decide what you want to achieve for your final grade. If you’ve paid attention in class, [the final] shouldn’t be that hard. Try not to rush, slow down, [and] stay focused.” Ty-Tianna Purvis, a 10th grader, also offers sage advise, saying, “Don’t cram for [the final]. Try to see if you can talk to your teachers about the hardest thing that will be on it. Then you know what to study for.” Her friend and classmate Amethyst Flores agrees and advises, “Definitely get enough sleep. [To stay calm,] I keep a piece of scrap paper with me, just in case I have a flip-out moment and need to write something down for myself. But that’s just me, because I’m crazy.”

Dylan Granger, a 10th grader, encourages students to have a more care-free attitude about finals. When asked how he is studying for finals, he said, “I’m not.” Taking on a more serious tone, he continued, saying, “I’m certainly not putting in the work I see other people doing. I’m doing fine in my classes, and it’s not worth it to go crazy.” Rebecca Buchanon, a Y1, says, “I would say go to your teacher before the final. Don’t wait. Go way in advance. Make study guides; don’t just use your friend’s, because when you make your own you understand the material more. And if you’re having trouble with something, it’s most likely going to be on the final, so don’t procrastinate. Use your time wisely.” She also reminds stressed students that finals week doesn’t have to be agonizing. “Once you get in the room and start taking it, it’s not that bad. Then after you’ve taken it, you just want to run screaming down the hallways. So that’s really good.”

Most students at BHSEC seem to have arrived at the conclusion that students need to determine what they need to study, avoid procrastination, see their teachers, and get enough sleep to function properly. Yet the most important advice is this: don’t equate finals week with Judgment Day. Put things into perspective.

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