Lack of Dead Days Kills Study Plans

Students feel rushed and underprepared for taking the final exams

Finals week—the last stretch of school; the finish line is almost visible, but this is definitely not the time to be slacking off. In many classes, finals can make or break one’s grade and determine whether they leave for summer with an A or a C on their report card.

More time to study leads to a positive studying experience and also better prepares one for their final exams. Teachers often weigh their final exam very highly; they can reach 20 percent of the semester grade for many math and science classes.

So why are dead days being cut back? Students should be given more dead days prior to finals in order to study and review.

Time usually reserved for beneficial, last-minute studying before finals is being removed from the student schedule, leaving students who need it scrambling to cram information in at the last minute, or even worse, giving up completely.

While it is true that students have already covered the material over the course of the semester, having them recall everything in two days hardly provides ample time to demonstrate what they have learned.

This year, students only have two dead days before finals week, which is only two days to study and prepare for the semester’s biggest test. It also is not helpful that finals week consists of three days of multiple exams with no weekend break to study, relax or de-stress.

Many students are unhappy about the short amount of time they are given to cram for these important exams, but without enough time to dedicate to studying, the students (and their grades) may suffer greatly as a result.

“I could definitely use more time to study,” sophomore Maxine Sferra said. “I want to do well on all of my finals.”

This is a sentiment echoed throughout the campus, where some classes take early finals in order to give the students ample study time.

“My European History AP class took our final the week after AP testing,” sophomore Vienna Rye said. “I got a lot more study time in because I had three extra days to prepare.”

These classes have the distinct advantage of having more time to study for the particular final exam. This allows students to familiarize themselves with the material and review long-forgotten concepts and facts.

It also give teachers the opportunity to go through the entire semester, review that is greatly cherished by their students. Finals usually encompass an entire year’s worth of material, and the useful chunk of time that the dead days provide can be used for a refresher study-time or even an intense cram session.

Some students, however, are a bit more nonchalant about the lack of dead days before finals.

This is because seniors have their own set of finals. After three years of suffering through this process, seniors only have a senior final, which occur right before the normal finals. Senior finals consist of only 50-minute periods, a welcome relief. Thus, many seniors are not as worried about the amount of study time available to them before finals.

“I don’t really care as long as I get above a 3.0,” senior Tony Zhukovskiy said. “And [anyways] I have enough classes that don’t have finals to give me some leeway.”

But for either seniors or underclassmen, study time can be beneficial to anyone and should be better utilized, especially before finals, but without enough dead days, students find this to be a challenge.

“I really wish we had more time,” junior Ka Lau said.” I’d feel a lot more confident.”