A final sans finality: When should first semester finals be scheduled?

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For the sake of students’ well being, moving finals before break is one of the best decisions Northwood has ever made. Since this new decision was implemented in Dec. 2017, many changes have been brought about by moving finals from after winter break to before. While it condenses the study period that students have to review for their exams, it also prevents stress from being prolonged over winter break.

Due to the competitive nature of Northwood, students are constantly working hard throughout the school year, so they need adequate time to relax without stress from school persisting over holidays that are meant to be spent with friends and family. Students’ busy schedules throughout the school year do not allow much downtime, therefore Northwood staff needs to ensure that they can make the most of the break time they are given.

“Having finals before break allows us time to destress,” junior Sabrina Cha said. “Finals after break make students stress out and they lose time with their families during the holiday season.”

Many critics of the new arrangement of winter finals believe that moving exams almost a month earlier is detrimental to a student’s performance because they are forced to cram their studying into a condensed period of time. However, for the students who decide to spend their break by hanging out with loved ones and having fun, a two-week-long break can be detrimental to their progress in studying. Contrary to what many students believe, moving finals earlier allows for them to retain information easier, as they are forced to manage their time more effectively and receive the assistance they need sooner. They may have less time to ask their teachers for help, but starting their finals studying earlier will ensure students an equal understanding of the material as if the exams were a few weeks later. Doing this helps them to make the most of their study time rather than forgetting the material over break.

“Lack of downtime for many of our students is an area of critical concern and moving finals to before break was one step we could take to give students that break so that they can actually recharge and benefit from more important things like shared experiences with their family and friends,” Math teacher and Challenge Success member Lisa Schneider said. “With having a true break in the middle of the year, students should also benefit from being able to learn better because engagement oftentimes gets compromised by fatigue or burn out.

Through its assistance and its efforts to help alleviate the stress levels of many Northwood students around finals time, Challenge Success has succeeded. Reaching out to various students around campus through a survey helped pinpoint the school’s shortcomings and make a change for the better of their mental and emotional development.