The end-of-semester blues

Studies and statistics show that students’ stress during the finals week increases drastically, and students in a desperate time will look for any and every solution to keep them awake and alert.


“Nearly half (49%) of all students reported feeling a great deal of stress on a daily basis,” according to New York University’s website (, “and 31 percent reported feeling somewhat stressed. Females reported significantly higher levels of stress than males (60% vs. 41%).”


Karen Wilson, RAHS Pre-Calculus and Algebra 2 teacher, is very encouraging in the classroom, but is particularly helpful with quizzes and tests. Some might argue that finals are unnecessary and downright malicious, and some think that it’s a necessary process that needs to challenge students knowledge and measure how much they know.


“I think finals are very useful to go back and try to remember all of the stuff you learned in the semester,” said Wilson. “It’s really difficult to just see something one time and and then remember it forever so I like taking the week that it takes to go back and have a review and then take a final, but I don’t think a final should count as a huge portion of your grade.”


When students struggle or have questions, Wilson thinks that they should not be afraid to ask teachers.


“I do give [students] a review, and I do give time to work on it, and I am available for questions and [finals] only count as ten percent of the grade,” said Wilson.


It’s no secret that most students who are in either highschool or college have some type of final or a project to complete their semester grade. The high pressure around finals time leads students to frantically review everything they’ve learned in the year.


RAHS Junior Jashanpreet Tatla is currently juggling three Advanced Placement courses. Her favorite methods of studying are watching videos on YouTube, on channels like Khan Academy and Crash Course.


“Places that I have excelled mostly is english, by studying a lot and practicing and rewriting the material down. One factor that really helps is Quizlet,” said Tatla. “I [also] like to review a lot of the information at random times because it helps me memorize it easily otherwise I’ll think I’m forcing myself.”


RAHS students are recognized by schools around Washington state for their higher test scores in comparison to other schools, which is a reflection of teaching methods by teachers and  studying methods by students.


“I don’t stress, I just do what I need to do. I try to get ready beforehand so I won’t have to cram last minute. I separate parts I need to review a lot and those I am fine with,” said Tatla, “than I study as much as I can for each subject I am struggling most with or has the greatest impact on my grade first, then I narrow down to the classes that are easier or don’t matter as much.”

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