OPINION: Don’t let exams stress you out too much

As Christmas draws nearer, decorations are put up, Christmas music is played everywhere, everyone finishes up their Christmas shopping, and students are more stressed than ever. First semester exams, which end only four days before Christmas, add even more stress to the holiday season. Most students have four or five exams, with possible others in different electives. Combined with final projects and last tests squeezed in before Christmas break, it feels like we have no time to study for these exams, which count as 20% of our first semester grade.

Genevieve Hurst
Sophomore Sayley Crawford working hard to stay on top of her exam studies.

One proposed solution to this time of stress is possible exemption for everyone. Even seniors, who can be exempt from second semester exams, have to take their first semester exams. Sophomore Jane Gray Barbour says, “I feel like if you’ve been working hard all semester, you should be able to save yourself some stress and be exempt from exams, especially the seniors.” While this may help with our stress, many feel that not having exams would leave us unprepared for college exams and large tests, which is counterintuitive in a college prep school.

Senior Mary Patton Murphy says of exam stress, “This year I’m trying to get ahead on my studying so I can avoid it.” With so much happening around this time, both in school and outside of the classroom, finding a lot of time to study can be difficult. Even completing regular school assignments is hard with all of the holiday festivities. It is smart, though, to get as much studying in as early as possible to keep yourself from later stress.

Really, your grade on your exam has to be drastically different from both terms to change your overall grade much, for better or for worse. There should not be too much stress on these exams because, although they do count for a large portion of semester grades, they do not normally have the power to completely tank or save your grade. Study hard and do your best, but don’t stress out too much about them.