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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Better late? Not when it comes to finals

    Finals week. Are there any other words in the English language that, when strung together, have the power to cause so much stress?

    As difficult as it might be to believe, finals will be here in just a few short weeks. Exams are lurking right around the corner.

    No one likes having to look up the UA finals schedule. We don’t enjoy acknowledging that despite the summer vacation weather, we have some hoops to jump through before the semester concludes.

    However, despite the unpleasant realization that we do indeed have to take final exams, there’s one glimmer of light in the darkness: The finals schedule itself. The tests are unavoidable, but at least the way the university runs finals week provides more time to study. However, this year, I’m not so lucky. I have three finals on May 1. Finals week officially begins on May 9. What’s going on here? Professors sometimes hold finals early in order to make students’ lives easier, but doing so only makes the week before finals more hectic. Professors’ deviation from this schedule can cause a lot of unnecessary, unintended stress.

    At the UA, we have a classic case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. Professors hold final exams early with a kind idea in mind. By giving the exams to us before the ever-ominous finals week, professors think they can help us avoid days crammed with multiple tests.

    Perhaps holding early tests sometimes goes well, but when multiple professors have the same idea, such plans fail. Students are still overloaded with work, the work just happens to be given much earlier, without the added benefit of having finished classes.

    Students always run the risk of having multiple tests close together during finals week itself, but when that happens, we have more time to prepare. Even if all of a student’s exams were given on the very first day of finals week, we would still have Reading Day to study.

    Unquestionably, part of college is learning time-management skills and how to balance multiple obligations at one time. However, courses put so much emphasis on final exams that these tests often have the power to determine over one-third of our final grades.

    As a result, we need all the help we can get when it comes to finals. Adhering to the university-wide finals schedule seems to be the best move. That way, if a student does happen to have more than three exams in one day, university final exam policy at least allows the student the opportunity to take the fourth on a different day. This policy only applies to finals week, so it’s important that the tests be offered then.

    The Office of the Registrar sets the finals schedule well in advance. It enables students to immediately know when their finals will be held, as early as a semester before the exam is actually given. Thus, students can plan in advance. The information is clear and easy to find. However, the schedule is rendered pointless when professors don’t follow it.

    The same should be true for other types of finals. Finals are not always administered in the form of a classic test, complete with a scantron and number two pencil. Instead, we’re often required to write papers and do special projects. Different forms of finals provide diverse opportunities to showcase knowledge, but they should all have to comply with the finals schedule, regardless of type.

    We need the extra days provided during the designated finals week in order to perfect whatever projects we might have. Requiring students to both take and turn in finals early is tempting, but simply sticking with what the university already has planned is easiest and fairest for all. Conformity doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

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