A student from Cherry Hill East is sitting at his desk in his room with papers all over the place. He has both a math final and a chemistry final the next day and he doesn’t know how he will be able to study sufficiently for both. This is a reality for many students during finals week at Cherry Hill East.
At East, finals week is broken up into four days. Each day has 2 periods reserved for finals for two different classes. Having two finals in one day adds stress onto many students during finals week. They may be on the brink of an A or a B and need a good grade to surpass that threshold. Being on the brink of a certain grade adds a whole new level of stress to finals week that was not previously there.
“Finals week will definitely be very stressful for me as I study because most of my grades are borderline,” said Cassidy Rosen-Swell (’16).
A common misconception is that finals week at East is the most important time of the year. However, finals are only worth one-ninth of a students final grade which is equivalent to 11 percent. For example, if a student has an 89 percent in a class for the entire year, they will need a 94 percent on the final for an 89.5 percent or a 98 percent on the final in order to get a 90 on the dot for the year.
Other than for students on the brink of a grade like this, finals can be pretty meaningless. If a student has an 86 percent for the year, he can only get up to an 87.5 with a 100 percent on the final. Also, for this student to fall below a B, he would have to get a 24 percent on the final. So for many students, finals week is a very stressful time when in many cases, the grades will not alter final class grades.
Seniors, however, see finals week in a different light. If a senior has an A average for the year, he/she can elect not to take the final and not be penalized. Many seniors have a minimal amount of finals to take and a whole lot of stress lifted from them. Stephen Huff (’14), for example, only is taking one final due to his having many A’s.
“I’ll probably just vaguely look over my notes because it’s just one final,” said Huff.
This lack of finals makes him a very stress-free person in a very stressed time that is called finals week.
One final that does require a lot of study, even if a student seems safe with his/her average is the vocabulary final. Cherry Hill East students typically study about 1,000 words for a freshman to 1,500 words for a sophomore of junior (most seniors don’t have to do vocabulary). Any one of these words can show up on a vocabulary test.
“To study for the vocab final, I make sentences for all of the words I am uncomfortable with so I can memorize them better,” said Jake Sobel (’16).
This work is very time-consuming but imperative to do well on this final exam.
“For the vocab final I start studying a week before, making sure I memorize some amount of words per day” said Rosen-Swell (’16).
This vocab exam has a lot of key information and if a student doesn’t study the words, it is very probable that he/she does very poorly on the exam. This poor grade could even result in a student dropping a letter grade from a decent grade prior to the final.
Finals week is the time of the year that contains a lot of unnecessary stress in the life of an East student. As long as this student studies well for every final, including vocabulary, and avoiding too much stress, they should be able to breeze through finals week.