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Students take new approaches to final exams

Paul+Trembley%2C+a+junior%2C+studies+for+his+finals+during+review+week.
Paul Trembley, a junior, studies for his finals during review week.

Paul Trembley, a junior, studies for his finals during review week.

Daniel Friis

Daniel Friis

Paul Trembley, a junior, studies for his finals during review week.

Daniel Friis, Staff Writer

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The month of December is supposed to be filled with cheerfulness and unforgettable memories, however, for most high school students, it’s the opposite.

When the time comes around, the thought of the holidays is in the back of most students’ minds as they prepare to take finals.

Finals are a way for teachers to test students on the curriculum of the entire semester. The tests can come in many forms: a multiple choice or free response test, a seminar, or an essay.

Finals are also a chance for students to raise their grades. However, with the chance to raise a grade comes a chance of one’s grade dropping, which is nerve-wracking for many students.

“Finals week is easily one of the most stressful times of my year,” said Ryan Busser, a junior.

For many upperclassmen, finals are important and are treated as a priority over all other activities.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Notre Dame, which is a school that requires a high grade point average. For this reason, I treat review week and the week of finals very seriously. It’s crucial that I get a good night of sleep, eat right, and study often if I want to get into my dream colleges,” said Josh Fong, a senior.

Other upperclassmen share the same story as Fong.

“I like to put down my phone when I study so I can’t get distracted. Colleges look hard at grades from junior year, so I want to make mine as good as possible. Finals are a big way to improve my chances of going to a good college, but I have to work hard,” said Busser.

On the flip side, the underclassman, who don’t have as much on the line, approach finals in a much different way.

“I’m really going to treat finals as a way to improve my test-taking skills. Obviously, I really want to do well, but at the same time, it is my first experience having big tests in high school. I know I will have a lot more tests in the future, so I’m going to try to use this as an opportunity to improve myself for the future,” said Brandon Greco, a freshman.

Ask lots of questions and pay attention in class so that everything is clear when it’s time. Also, take study breaks and don’t spend all of your free time studying because rest is important.”

— Josh Fong

Many underclassmen use finals to their advantage, treating them as a practice run for future tests.

“If I was to take the SAT or ACT today, I wouldn’t be ready. I am going to try and approach these final tests the same way I would if I was taking a standardized test. That way, when the time comes to take a standardized test, I will have an idea of what to do,” said Adam Cross, a sophomore.

Although there are many different strategies that students can use when taking finals, many upperclassmen urge younger students to take finals week seriously.

Fong said, “If I had to give advice to students on how to study for a final, I would say to ask lots of questions and pay attention in class so that everything is clear when it’s time. Also, take study breaks and don’t spend all of your free time studying because rest is important.”

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Students take new approaches to final exams