Finals. Dreaded by some and exempted by others, final exams serve as either a last-ditch effort to improve grades or a carefree closure to a year-long course. Although final exams are traditionally spread out between a range of days, Maclay’s upper school administration took a new approach to the infamous exam week this year. Rather than holding final exams on the first three or four days of a week, this year’s finals will be held solely on May 17 and 18. Opening with the math exam, each day will have three exam time blocks, with only an hour in between each time frame. The now tightly packed exam schedule has faced subpar reviews amongst upper school students who have already checked into their summer vacation modes. 

“I think that [the new final exam schedule] will end up having a negative effect on the third exam, and [students]  will probably do better on their first ones,” sophomore Sophia Krizner said. “It causes a lot of stress for people to complete their exams fast enough instead of [with] good quality.”

Despite appearing like an abrupt change to constant exam precedents, the upper school administration’s decision to transform “exam week” into “exam days” has been in the works since the start of the second semester. Aspects such as department exemption rules set in place or essays and projects with due dates before the exam date were taken into consideration by the administration. Moreover, the two days were selected to avoid interference with impending graduation celebrations and commencements for students in the lower, middle and upper schools. 

“I made the decision when I realized we had the last day of school on Monday and graduation on Thursday,” dean of students Heather Bas said. “I don’t think [the new schedule] will harm students because students can self-advocate. They can talk to their teachers and make any adjustments to their exam schedule to make sure they are in a successful mental space.” 

Although the shortened exam dates lead upper school students a few steps closer to summer vacation, the overall concept of taking three exams in one day is a hard pill to swallow for many students. While some are glad to close out exam week in the span of two days, others fear that the quick turnarounds will negatively affect their performances on the later exams. Students have already begun raising questions and curiosities regarding the 2022-2023 midterm schedule, where exemptions are not as plentiful or allowed. 

“If I were taking all of the exams, I would definitely make sure that I started my paper when they were due and use my time wisely instead of procrastinating,” freshman Kayla Iarossi said. “I would use the two weekends before to prepare for the time blocks.”Whether an upper school student is taking zero, one, two or even three exams on one day, there is no doubt about the overall relief that will be felt by a student once their final exam is taken. For the full exam schedule, look at this post from @maclayandalusian on Instagram.

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Amelia Haggins is a Staff Writer for the Andalusian. Outside of writing for the publication, she is a member of the Maclay volleyball team, track and field team and multiple clubs. She enjoys listening to her countless Spotify playlists, hanging out with friends and family and traveling when she is not having to meet deadlines for the publication. In her free time, you can find her online shopping for shoes, clothes and miscellaneous items that Tik Tok recommends.