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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Downers Grove South High School

Blueprint

Editorial: New finals schedule is frustrating

This+finals+schedule+causes+much+pain+for+students+
Itzel Sanchez
This finals schedule causes much pain for students

The finals schedule has been shuffled around the last few years and the seniors have now seen four different schedules for the finals week. The upcoming iteration is by far the worst one so far.

The main issue with the finals week schedule is that it includes block days. This is quite a baffling decision when the concept of finals is considered. Teachers will now likely give their finals, or just their final unit test, on the block days to maximize study time for their students.

This means that students will have to run the absolute gauntlet on the block days. It’s a very likely possibility that one will have three or more tests on a single day, and then have to go home and do it again. Some students may or may not be crying while they limp into their 6th period final after being bombarded with the hardest content of the semester.

The tests were spread out by department or by period in the last few years, but this policy has been completely eliminated. DGS principal Arwen Lyp explained this decision in an email.

“Since the last week of the semester may or may not include a final exam in every class, there are no designated ‘final exams days’ by department,” Lyp said in a Mustang Memo.

While not every class may have a final, the lion’s share of classes still have some sort of final assessment in the form of a unit test, presentation or project. It would cause no harm to split up the exam days by department because this system worked last year.

There were no block days last year for finals week, and the exams were split up by period throughout the week. This spread out the final exam dates so that a student had a maximum of three, 50 minute final exams spread throughout an eight period day.

In all likelihood students will have final tests crammed into the last few block days instead of being spread out over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday because of the aforementioned desire to give students the ability to study. While Tuesday exams are unfavorable, having all of the tests on the final two days is undoubtedly worse.

This will minimize student success because they’ll be utterly slammed with challenging material. It’s like putting up Glass Joe against Mike Tyson and expecting good results.

Last year’s finals schedule did have the downside of potential academic dishonesty. If a student took a final on Thursday and their friend took it on Tuesday they might ask about the content of the final. This is an issue, but this isn’t eliminated with the new schedule.

One student could have 5th period math and their friend could have 8th period math. So, the 5th period friend could easily tell their friend what’s on the math final because they already took it on Wednesday.

The solution is to simply do what worked in the past. While no finals schedule is perfect, the one last year wasn’t an issue. It’s confusing and frustrating to see a solid schedule ousted for a vastly worse one.

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