Exams: Before or After Winter Break?

By Alison Eppley, Staff Writer

With 89 percent of 121 voters in a Twitter poll taken by Pine Whispers believing exams should be held before winter break, a large majority of Reynolds students and staff clearly did not get their way with our current exam schedule.

In recent years, first semester exams and midterms have been postponed until after winter break. This prolonged time before exams is only made worse by winter weather, which was seen this year.

“I would prefer if we took our finals and midterms before break,” junior Andie Meise said. “That way the material we learned would be fresh on our minds and we could enjoy our break without an abundance of school work and review packets.”

It is not just students who do not prefer the current routine, many teachers at Reynolds feel the same way.

“I would love for my students to take exams before winter break,” history teacher John Clevenger said. “It just makes sense; colleges do it. That is also the way we used to do it for years.”

Winter break before exams, plus additional time out for January’s winter weather, could provide extra time for students to study for exams, but this is not necessarily how it plays out.

“In theory, having a long break before exams could give students time to review and study,” Clevenger said. “Reality is very different though. Students very rarely spend time studying over break, there’s just too much going on and too many distractions. Also, with two weeks off, school seems so far removed that it’s the last thing on students’ minds.”

This exam schedule also causes students to have more trouble studying, as they often forget things over winter break that would have been fresh on their minds.

“I believe taking exams after a long break can hurt our grades,” Meise said. “I often forget material that is covered and am forced to spend extensive time studying when, had we taken exams before break, I would have already known.”

If students wrap up their exams and first semester before break begins, they can enjoy this vacation time without having to worry about exam week when they get back.

“I think a break should be for relaxing, not studying,” Meise said. “Students should be able to enjoy their time off school without the stress of exams hanging over their shoulders.”

But as long as the exam schedule is the way it is, with no signs of changing anytime soon, students should strive to make both possible through hard work.

“I think it is possible to both relax and study over the break,” Clevenger said. “It just takes a little discipline.”

Photo from Teenage Hack.