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Tests before finals hurt student performance

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Tests before finals hurt student performance

The schedules of many students have begun to be more and more overwhelming around finals week.

The schedules of many students have begun to be more and more overwhelming around finals week.

Isha Pandya

The schedules of many students have begun to be more and more overwhelming around finals week.

Isha Pandya

Isha Pandya

The schedules of many students have begun to be more and more overwhelming around finals week.

Isabella Belof, Staff Writer

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Cramming isn’t the ideal way to absorb information, but scheduling tests right before finals week seems to encourage this method of studying. 

As the end of the semester approaches this year, it seems too many teachers feel pressured to finish their current unit as quickly as possible. 

Generally, every unit ends with a test. This is understandable since a teacher’s job is to ensure that students learn everything before the final.

But scheduling tests before final exams is harmful to students in many ways, causing a lot of stress before the exams even begin. 

Despite this being a tradition for academic courses, giving exams before finals isn’t the only option.

Scheduling tests right before finals is not only inefficient, but also draining for students.

This is especially true for those who struggle with their mental health. 

About 48 percent of youth have some sort of mental disorder, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).  And as we know, school is a large source of stress for many, if not all, students.

So if the NCBI’s statistics are accurate, nearly half of Cal High’s student body has some sort of mental disorder.

Yet the curriculum or approach to school work hasn’t changed to ease this concerning decline of mental wellness. 

Students need not only time but energy to tend to their own needs, whether they are physical or mental. Taking a test before finals week exhausts students and increases their anxiety. 

Stress is also a contributor to insomnia because if the mind can’t relax, neither can the body. 

More than one-third of teens report that stress caused them to lie awake at night in the past month, according to The American Psychological Association. 

Recently, a friend told me that her teacher made a joke about the typical high schooler’s sleep schedule. 

The teacher claimed that if students weren’t tired, then they would have nothing to talk about. 

But suffering from a lack of sleep is not a laughing matter.

Lacking sleep is a symptom of a mental disorder and a reason  why mental disorders develop. On the other hand, a healthy night of sleep strengthens a person’s mind.

“A good night’s sleep helps foster both mental and emotional resilience, while chronic sleep disruptions set the stage for negative thinking and emotional vulnerability,” according to Harvard University’s website. 

Many high school students are deprived of sleep because they stay up finishing their homework or studying. Students have to balance their lives with their schoolwork. But having more tests forces teenagers to value their academic achievements over a healthy sleep schedule. 

In fact, a hands-on approach is beneficial for learning, according to Concordia University.

“Most of us don’t remember the lectures, books, or test. Instead we remember the class trip to the museum or space camp,” according to  Concordia University’s website.

I agree. Instead of staring blankly at a textbook for hours and imposing more stress upon students, why not create a relaxing atmosphere? 

A fun way of reviewing for tests is using Kahoot, which requires little preparation. 

It encourages friendly competition among peers and reduces stress.

Because of the combination of pessimism and pressure, some students even feel that they don’t have the time to take care of themselves, because apparently that’s a luxury, not a necessity.

 Activities that are important to a student’s well being or responsibilities that they have outside of school can be seen as “slacking off.”

Teenagers have a lot going on in their personal lives, such as jobs, sports, clubs, chores, religious activities, personal hobbies, and so much more.

Combine all of these things going with the importance of earning good grades, it’s easy for a student to feel overwhelmed. 

It turns out that there’s more to a teenager’s life than studying. What a concept.

A lack of sleep also harms a student’s ability to perform well on their finals.

“An adequate amount of sleep is also critical for academic success… sleep deprivation impedes learning,” said UCLA Professor Andrew Fuligni. 

Wait, doesn’t this defeat the purpose of taking a test before finals?

Tests before finals are only a burden on students, as they are the root for many problems that fester into a myriad of issues.

They do nothing but harm a student’s academic life and their personal health. 

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