All tired students want to do is rest, so stop giving them tests

Art by Myah Teague

You made it. It’s the last day before break, and all you can think about is your upcoming plans. The last place you want to be is at school, sitting at a desk for another six hours, as you have done every weekday for the past couple months. You are exhausted and can’t focus on the simplest of tasks. 

Yet, you are flooded with tests.

For students at LHS, this is a common occurrence. Although there may be times when a student gets lucky and has a relaxing day before vacation, from what I have experienced, that rarely happens.

Most of the time, the days before a week off can be stressful. Teachers are in a rush to finish a unit and don’t want to start a new one right before break, so most teachers will give a test.

Although it’s good that students won’t have to worry about remembering their current unit over break, it’s not such a great idea when every one of your teachers executes the same plan. One test can quickly pile up to six, making the last few days the worst due to the amount of cramming you have to do. 

And with the mountains of information you have to memorize, it can become extremely hard to retain all the material to be able to do well on the tests. Not to mention the decrease in energy you will have by the end of the school week, making it even more difficult to perform well on a test.

After spending your weeks endlessly working, staying up late into the night or early mornings, and becoming uncontrollably stressed due to schoolwork, students are bound to be exhausted to the point where their brain just feels cloudy. A majority of students have probably experienced those days where they lethargically go class to class just trying to make it through the day. And these days frequently happen right before a break.

With such a low amount of energy, how are students expected to focus and remember everything on multiple tests throughout a day in order to pass their classes?  When going through this, it feels impossible to do.

However, it is not just students in school that have struggles. In some cases, students taking an early vacation have it worse.

Though it is their choice to be absent, this happens way too often for teachers to overlook. And even if the teacher decides that this isn’t a valid excuse to move a test, they should realize that this impacts them too.

By planning a test the last days before a break, teachers risk losing their own time too by having to surrender their free periods and out of school hours to allow all absent students to take their test. Something that can easily be avoided by filling the last classes with other productive tasks.

Instead of bomb-barding students with tests, other activities can be done without moving onto another unit. On the last days of school, teachers can review the test to make sure students understand their mistakes, have the class compete against each other in a Kahoot, or write a reflection on the unit. All of which wouldn’t cause stress with the students or take up the teacher’s time.

From the level of exhaustion students face, to the extensive pile of make-up work absent students will have, having tests before vacations isn’t a good idea. Sure it spares the students from worrying about remembering their unit throughout their break, but when comparing the pros and cons, there are more negative impacts than benefits.

I understand how it may be hard to fit an entire lesson into the few weeks before a vacation and how planning a test for the last day can give more time for the students to prepare for a test. But in order to improve the week before school vacations, teachers should plan to give tests out earlier. Whether it is a week before the break or even at the beginning of the last week, teachers should try to space out tests to prevent students from having an unreasonable amount of tests on the last day.

So teachers, speaking for all students who dread having a test on the last day before the break, consider that this is not the only class we take. And if you think it’s a good idea to have a test right before vacation, chances are other teachers are thinking that too.

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