On Monday, January 14th, only a week after winter break ends, the finals week will begin. The exams last from Monday to Thursday with days lasting from 8:00 to 12:20. Monday, however, will begin at 10:00. On Monday there will exams for fourth period, for Tuesday there will be first and fifth period, on Wednesday second and seventh period, and on Thursday third and sixth period. The exam schedules are also on page five of the school planner.
Lately, there has been discussion over whether or not the finals should be before or after winter break. Las Lomas has already made plans for future school years to start a week early so the finals are before winter break. “I think in an ideal world they should be before the break, but it’s going to lend itself to a lot of stressors happening before the break. As you know, the calendar is changing next year. Finals will start happening before the break next year,” said Ms. Schwab, a history teacher. “Time will tell, but I think having them [finals] before the break seems like a really good idea because then you don’t have the loss of retention over the break. You don’t have to study over the break. But what I’m afraid might happen is that there might be a lot of holiday events and sports events on top of academics at the end of the semester.”
Some students, such as senior Tiffany Choi, are in favor of finals being before Winter Break. “I’d much rather have the finals before the break because I think it’s less stressful than spending the break studying.”
Another senior, Shayna Trivedi, offered her studying advice for the finals. “The way I study is that I look at the schedule of what tests are on what days for what classes and I study backwards. I study for my last final and then I work my way up to my first final. The night before my first final I study for that. The night before my second final I review for that. That way I’ve already gone over all the material I’m supposed to learn and now I’m just reviewing it.” Ms. Schwab also had some advice for students. “Take a deep breath. Have a protein-rich breakfast the morning of your finals. Get a good night’s rest and just do your very best. What teachers want to see is improvement. And they want to see that their teaching is effective and they’re encouraging academic curiosity and the desire to learn and improve over the course of the ear. It’s just intended to assess what you have learned.”
Unsurprisingly, there’s also a lot of pressure that students feel during the weeks leading up to the finals. “I think the stress is justified.” Trivedi continued. “But at the same time, I know that 10% or 15% of a grade sounds like a lot but in reality, if you perform how you normally do in the class, your final isn’t going to have much of an impact on your grade. As long as you stay true to how you’ve been performing all semester, it’s not going to do very much to your grade.”
As Tiffany Choi added, “Just manage your time wisely and you’ll be fine.”