How Gators Can Be Prepared for Finals

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A. Guo, Asst. Editor-in-Chief

As the last few weeks of the very first semester here at Green Level roll around, students begin to stress out about final exams. Unlike middle school, these final exams will be 20% of your grade. Quarter 1 will take 40% and quarter 2 will take the last 40%. In other words, these final exams are worth studying for as they can have an impact on your final grade.

That’s why it is important to start studying for finals soon. Mr. Nesbitt, an AP Human Geography teacher at Green Level says, “It is very important to manage time and not to overload yourself. Cramming one or two nights before is probably going to lead to more stress than success. I would say 15-20 minutes every day or every other day starting as soon as possible is better than just waiting.” 

Finals will take place from Tuesday, January 21st to Monday, January 27th. Teacher-made exams, NCFEs, and the Biology EOC will take place on the first two days, and Math I, Math III, and English II EOCs will take place on the days after. Make-up day exams will be on the 27th. To see the schedule along with additional info, click this link.

Since not everyone will be available on the days of the EOC, make sure you fill out this dismissal form (which you should have already received in advisory) and return it to your second period teacher.

Anxiousness has now started to stir around the school. Sophomore Salma Bounini says, “I’m nervous for finals this semester due to the challenging courses that I’m taking.” The same is for many other Green Level students. Both freshmen and sophomores are in the face of two grueling weeks ahead, but there are plenty of ways to help steady your heartbeat and let you get some more sleep.

First, you have to make sure you are focused when studying. Bounini says, “I highly recommend for students to go to the library to study and to also turn off their phone and to put it in another room to further eliminate any distractions.” If you can’t go to the library, find a quiet place in your home, school, or wherever you are staying and just like Bounini says, turn off your phone.

One of the simplest ways to study is, “to look over some tests and old assignments so you don’t forget anything,” Pranathi Chintala, Green Level sophomore says. This way, you can figure out what you have gotten wrong in the past, and focus on those things. Even more, notes can be good for last-minute review.

Mr. Nesbitt says that one of the most important things to focus on when studying is to practice active studying compared to passive studying. He explains, “anything where you are manipulating the information or writing the information or applying the information is going to be better than just reading.” An example he gives of this is quizlets, “Quizlets are okay if you’re making them, [but] they’re not great if you’re just staring at your phone.”

Because each course varies, every teacher will have different resources to offer. Mr. Nesbitt says, “Even if there are no resources offered by your instructor, what you can do is look up old AP exams and/or if you get the Barron’s or PrincetonReview book, especially the multiple choice is good for our [AP Human Geography] final.” But he also mentions, “Each student is going to need to check in with their own instructor to see which resources are made available for them.”

One resource for students is peer tutoring. Many students have already taken courses in their middle school or freshman year, so you can get tutored from select students who have excelled or are excelling in those courses. Here is the Google sign up for peer tutoring.

Another free and accessible resource is Khan Academy. If you don’t know what Khan Academy is, it provides short online videos, practice questions, and even full tests in certain courses like Math I, II, & III, Pre-Calc, Calculus AB and BC, Chemistry, US History, World History, Biology, and much more. 

But remember to also, “not stress and overthink the final,” just like Chintala says. Bounini agrees as she states, “always have the mindset that everything will be ok no matter what grade you’re going to get.” 

Make study groups, take breaks, and don’t freak yourself out too much. Good luck from The Gator’s Eye!