As the dreaded finals week approaches, the Oracle decided to gather information about Archer students’ feelings and experiences.
Of all the responses the Oracle gathered, 34% were freshman and 27% were sophomores. The rest of the responses came equally from juniors and seniors.
The Oracle asked ninth graders how they felt about their first finals. Multiple students expressed that they were only afraid that their grades would be altered. One student admitted to worrying because she “[doesn’t] know how to prepare” and another because she “[isn’t] sure what to expect.”
Those who were in tenth grade or above were asked what they learned from previous final experiences. The results were inconclusive; students had many differing opinions. One student explained, “[I] learned that I [should] not stress myself out and [should] take one test at a time. I also learned that I can’t continuously study and that I need to take breaks.” Another said, “Finals week is fun!! The week before, however, sucks.”
Others had similar sentiments, many commenting that the week before finals is more exhausting than finals week itself. A humorous student wrote, “For the love of all that is holy, don’t procrastinate studying. If you log onto Netflix you will never log off.”
Older upper school students offered advice to ninth graders, one commenting that “time management is key.” One student enthusiastically explained, “STUDY. This literally cannot be emphasized enough. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can wing your finals. You can’t. Trust me, I know.” Others simply offered encouragement: “Trust yourself because you know the information. Don’t stress, it’s a week of free dress—smile and breathe!”
The Oracle asked students whether or not they believed that finals were good assessments of their understanding and 50% chose “sometimes/maybe.” The rest of the responses were equally divided between “yes” and “no.”
Archer students seem to be most worried for the math finals as 25% told the Oracle that they were “moderately worried” and 64% chose “extremely worried”—by far the highest percentage of all finals. Surprisingly, students were most comfortable with their science finals: 30% said they were not worried at all.
The survey found that creating study guides was the most common method Archer students use for studying. Reading textbooks and other information was the least common method.
The Oracle asked students to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how important finals were to them. 42% chose “5” or “most important” and 1% chose “1” or “not important at all.” Lastly, we gave the students a place to articulate any final thoughts. One Archer student said that “finals [are] a form of methodical torture imposed on innocent teens.”
Another Archer student simply wrote, “Cancel finals, please.”