The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Students and teachers alike prepare for finals week

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Emma Wu
Students camp out in the library to study for the upcoming exams, as work piles up and teachers begin finalizing grades. “I’m stressed that I’ll do poorly on the final and there’s nothing I can do about it,” said sophomore Lyra Cunningham.

As excitement about ice skating, hot chocolate, and winter break buzzes around the campus, the end of the semester is creeping up on students; everyone is scrambling to prepare for review week and the final exams.

As soon as the second week of December comes around, teachers put a pause on giving students new lessons and teaching new concepts to focus on reviewing and reinforcing past lessons.

“I think finals are really helpful by bringing the core concepts from this year to a close. It is a resolution at the end of the year,” said Ryan Chun, a math teacher at Carlmont.

Preparation is critical for students like Lyra Cunningham, a sophomore taking six classes. According to Cunningham, advanced courses such as AP World History require consistent reviewing and rereading notes to prepare for the final.

“I’m preparing for the upcoming exams by studying as much as I can,” Cunningham said. “But while also balancing the adequate need for sleep.”

Pullquote Photo

I’m preparing for the upcoming exams by studying as much as I can, but while also balancing the need for adequate sleep.

— Lyra Cunningham

Depending on the class, students will see a combination of multiple-choice questions, essay writing, free-response questions, and performance tasks for their final. Broadly speaking, they must review the whole semester’s worth of information to be ready for these final exams.

“I would say studying the notes that you received from lectures is key. Lots of students throw their notes away or never look at them. If we talk about something in class, it’s probably going to be on an exam,” Chun said.

As teachers overview the different components of their final exam in the coming weeks, study practices and suggestions float around campus, hoping that students utilize the advice in their studying.

“I would study by going through old homework problems or lecture problems and redoing the problems. Cover up the answer and check it afterward,” Chun said. “I would also form study groups.”

As teachers and students focus on the academic aspect of the last two weeks of the first semester, the Associated Student Body (ASB) works on lively activities for students during lunch and throughout the entire week.

“My commission, lunchtime service, is doing the holiday village week decorations,” said sophomore Vaid Nallu. “We made snowflakes and other winter-themed stuff to hang up.”

According to Nallu, the many commissions in ASB are planning various activities during the holiday season and review week. Students can look out for cookie decorating, ornament and tree decorating, candy cane grams, and spirit days in the quad throughout the next few weeks.

As soon as the final exams are over, students can bask in a relaxing winter break, rewinding after weeks of stress, and prepare for the next semester of learning.

“I’m most excited to have time to hang out with family and friends after finals and have a lot of time to myself,” said junior Paige Crowther. She is currently in the BTI program and studying for six classes. 

After the next two weeks of review and exams, students will enjoy two weeks of break before school resumes on Jan. 9 and the second semester begins.

“I am most excited to turn off my alarms!” Chun said.

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About the Contributor
Emma Wu, Staff Writer
Emma Wu (Class of 2026) is a sophomore who enjoys playing the violin, traveling, and painting. She is a campus writer who focuses on local events and is excited to expand her knowledge of the culture and people around the Bay Area. You can find her hanging out with her friends, going to an orchestra rehearsal, or planning her next trip.

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