Semester’s Final Days Include . . . Finals


Graphic by Onnika Moore

The end of the semester is quickly approaching, therefore students are preparing for finals week. Certain classes administer final tests to determine students’ understanding of the material learned over the span of the semester.
“We emphasize the major topics most, but everything we’ve covered is fair game,” math instructor Mrs. Sarah Benzel said. “We try to spend as much time as possible reviewing and spiral throughout the whole semester.”
Teachers prepare their students for their finals for a few weeks before the test date. Most teachers provide their students with study guides, notes, cheat sheets and study games. Others review past units with their classes and go through specific topics.
“If there’s enough time, I try to do one chapter a day but, depending on the schedule, sometimes I have to condense,” Mrs. Benzel said. “I always try to give time for kids to do work independently.”
Some students feel as though finals are not an accurate way to judge a student’s understanding of the curriculum learned over the semester. This may be due to the fact that some of the information included on the test could have been from the beginning of the school year, months before the test.
“I think that finals are decently effective at their purpose,” sophomore Andrew Jones said. “Maybe instead of having one big test over everything you’ve learned in your classes, we should have two smaller tests that cover half of the semester.”
Although various students worry about how the final exam will affect their grades, in the GPS district, finals are not able to count for more than ten percent of a student’s grade. Teachers are available to assist students who need extra help preparing for the final or simply getting prepared for the end of the semester.
“Don’t wait until the last minute,” Mrs. Benzel said. “Focus on the topics you had the most trouble with. If you aced a chapter, then maybe just get a refresher and spend more time on the other topics.”
Preparing for the end of the semester can be a tedious process. Understanding how it works and how to prepare can benefit every student.