Who wants exams after break?

Okay, it’s Winter Break…what do you plan to do? Are you going to study for the exams that are coming up the first week you are back in school? NO! Most students (at least the ones I know) want to relax when they are on break. There is a need for some decompressing and starting the new semester with a clean slate…not a slate that is tainted by the previous semester’s successes or fails. Also, in order to grade the exams, teachers need two days (the Thursday and Friday after the final exams) to grade. However, these exams are on top of the necessity to grade anything from the second quarter that they didn’t grade over break. Both students and teachers really do need the two weeks to rest and recuperate from the stresses of first semester. Studying for exams is not the way to go. Not only does studying put stress on the student over break, so why CAN’T we take exams before winter break?

At Academic Magnet, the exams count as two test grades unless it is a semester class in which case it is the final which is 20% of the grade…in other words, it is big deal. For some, these midterms/finals can make or break a semester grade…so why shouldn’t they be before break when all of the information is fresh in a student’s brain? How is forcing him or her to stress out over break on exams he/she should have done before break? Do teachers really expect us to study? They constantly complain about wanting a break, well, so do we. School is stressful enough as it is, let alone having to worry for two weeks about having exams a week after coming back. For kids who do not handle stress well, these weeks are a nightmare. And then there is the week before exams. This is the worst week of any Magnet student’s, or student who is taking exams after break, life. You are trying to remember what you learned first semester, trying to cram it all into a study session…this creates the need to pull an all-nighter, which in turn affects your ability to take the exam. So what comes after taking the exams and after you’ve gotten your grades? Third quarter, the doldrums of the school year. We experience two months of straight school…no long breaks…not until Spring Break. We shouldn’t start this long session of school with exams, it should begin with a new chapter in the 2015-2016 school year.

The real question is …what will Charleston County do for its students and teachers in order to make their lives easier? Will they make exams before break? Or will they keep this terrible policy of allowing students to stress endlessly about their exams over a two week break? Only time will tell.

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