Finals must be stretched out and intensified

editorial staff

For much of the BSM student body, finals week is the most stressful part of the year as students are forced to cram a semester’s worth of information into their heads in a short amount of time while still balancing daily homework assignments and studying for tests occurring just days before final exams. However, this unnecessarily high stress level could easily be avoided–and in a way that would better prepare us for college.

At the moment, finals at BSM seem to fit into three categories: impossibly hard, cumulative finals which are far too long for the allotted test-taking time, relatively easy, longer versions of chapter tests, and random, laughably simple time-fillers.

It has become obvious that, as a college preparatory school, we should be making some changes to our final exam system to better prepare BSM students for finals in college.

Perhaps the most important change in the BSM finals policy would be reserving a week––or at least a couple days––strictly for studying. At the moment, students are so swamped with end-of-the-semester tests, papers, and homework assignments that many have to resort to studying the night before finals.

Teachers cannot honestly expect students to be able to adequately prepare for these finals when they have to devote all of their time to other things.

A good first step would be making finals longer. This would mean having a whole finals week, spreading exams over a period of four or five days instead of having two days of utter agony. Students’ brains won’t be as fried after a day of testing and, as an added bonus, they will also have more time to study. Students currently spend time calculating which classes they have the safest grades in to see which exams they actually need to study for, which completely defeats the purpose of final exams.

Having lengthier finals would also mean that students would be able to spend more time working on difficult, cumulative finals and essay tests, making those once seemingly-impossible tests reasonable.

However unpopular this may seem, making finals exams more challenging would also be a key part of improving finals at BSM. Teachers would feel an obligation to help students study instead of letting us walk blindly into a supposedly easy final and, by intensifying our finals, students will need to study more, thus reinforcing the concepts and enhancing our minds, which is one of the main ideas behind tests.

Besides, the intensity of the majority of the exams at BSM is nowhere near that of a college exam and, because we are a college preparatory school, we should be learning how to take tests of that caliber.

The fact of the matter is, something about the BSM finals policy needs to change. Whether it’s reserving some time specifically for studying, making finals longer, making finals more challenging, or it’s all three, finals will be significantly improved if BSM makes a change in that direction.