Final exams: The struggle for students gets even harder

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Jonathan Glaum

Current PVHS winter schedule missing final exam dates

Jonathan Glaum, Multimedia Manager

Final exams are a normal part of every student’s semester. But this fall semester, some students at PVHS do not believe final exams should still take place due to essential material not being covered by teachers.

Some teachers are saying they are only covering roughly 60 percent of the material they usually cover. Trevor Zahn, an American Government teacher, commented on how far behind his American Government classes are due to the hybrid schedule.

“I would say that [in American Government] I am probably a few days behind where I would normally be in a traditional year, because the hybrid format limits certain things and some of the lectures I cannot go too far in without kids having the background knowledge to move forward, so those things make sense when they are working on their assignments on their days at home,” Zahn said. This trend is common among teachers at PV.

Kevin Gaffney, an English teacher, talked about how his classes are structured differently this semester due to students only being in the classroom 50 percent of the time.

“It’s easier for English classes to omit certain texts or written assignments in order to deal with the compressed time we have with students this semester, as the skills we’d have students bring to one novel, for example, can be used with another novel instead,” Gaffney said. If final exams were to be simplified or cancelled, it may prove to eliminate this issue of material not being covered in class due to time constraints.

Along with teachers, students also feel anxious when thinking about taking finals this semester, as their understanding of ideas in classes is weaker due to not residing in school and under instruction as much.

Senior Carson Maxwell agreed that he does not feel like his understanding of the material is sufficient enough to be able to display his knowledge on the curriculum in the form of a final exam.

“Some classes I’m understanding the material, but others not really because it feels like you’re teaching yourself the material, so you don’t understand it as well as you would if we were 100 percent in person,” Maxwell said. Maxwell doesn’t think that final exams should be given at the end of this semester.

This idea is not new–many students feel the same. PVHS administrators currently do not know what the end of the semester will look like, but one thing is for certain: COVID-19 has altered the foundation of education and has changed how students will learn, and this year PVHS should be prepared to cancel finals due to these unprecedented changes.