Monday, Apr 21, 2014
Emily Little

Exam week chaos

Published:

Emily Little

As a student, there are two times of year I dread the most: midterm and final exams. This week is exam week at Sebring High School, which brings a lot of unwanted stress to students. As I was given study guides and exam schedules by my teachers, I realized the biannual cramming was about to begin.

I usually struggle finding motivation to start studying for my midterms, and this year has been no exception. When I finally break down and study, my first method is to make flashcards. I make flashcards for every single subject, attempting to commit as much as possible to memory. I try to color code my flashcards for each subject, writing down all of the information included on my study guides.

After all of the cramming and studying is complete, exam week arrives. Each of the three exam days are spent waking up early, trying to eat a good breakfast, taking care of my cow, and dreading the day ahead. When I arrive to school, I go over my flashcards one last time for good measure. I sit through my tests, hoping my studying paid off.

Although exam week is anything but enjoyable, there are a few perks. Our exam schedule is set up so we have to take no more than three exams in one day. After the exams are over for the day, students are free to go home. For one of my three exam days, I only have one test to take. Therefore, I get to leave around 10 a.m., which is a bit of a stress reliever. Unfortunately, the extra time out of school is spent mostly studying for the next exam.

After all three days of testing are over comes the waiting period. Sometimes, I wonder what's worse: stressing over the actual exams or the stress that comes with waiting for the results. Some teachers understand this stress, and try their best to grade the tests as quick as possible. Some teachers take their time grading the exams, and leave students agonizing over what their scores might be.

Another bonus during exam week is something called the curve. If a teacher gives an exam that no one earns a 100 percent on, a teacher can curve the exam. Curving the exam means that whatever the highest percentage earned on an exam was, for example 88 percent, that student earns a 100 percent. Each student who earned a lower grade receives the same number of points added on as the highest scoring individual, in this case 12. Of course, not all teachers use a curve on their exams, but the ones that do are greatly appreciated.

Taking on the stress of one exam making up 20 percent of their class grade creates a lot of stress for high school students. From curved exams to getting off from school early, there are a few things that make the week a bit easier. I wish good luck to all of those students taking exams this week. The typical advice is to get a good night's sleep, to eat a good breakfast, and to relax. However, I know that that advice is entirely unrealistic. Therefore, I hope that your late night cramming sessions, being too nervous to eat, and tremendous amounts of stress pay off. Exams are easily the most stressful time of a student's school year, but with a little studying and positive attitude, the week will be over in no time.

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