Spring Finals 2021

Arielle Bruk, Staff Writer

Woodside’s second-semester finals take place from Friday, May 28 to Thursday, June 3. This Friday, students will take finals for periods 1 and 3. This is to accommodate Memorial Day (this upcoming Monday), when we will have no school.

This year, finals for both semesters are online. I talked to students and staff to see what Woodside thinks of taking finals online versus taking finals in person.

Paige Patton, a Woodside senior, talked about how finals this year have taken more time to complete than in previous years.

I think that finals are different online because teachers, at least for me, are not assigning as many tests but instead a lot of projects,” said Patton. “Although this is nice, since we don’t have to study for anything, the projects are very time-consuming.”.

Distraction was also an obstacle for Patton, which she mentioned frequently throughout the interview. She spoke about how in-person exams force students to focus and commit to the task at hand, while at home they are tempted to zone out and go on their phones.  

Jessalyn Yepez, another student at Woodside, added to Patton’s point about distraction by saying, “Not only do I live in a very noisy and distracting environment, but there are other factors that I have to worry about [in-person] as well: internet connection, technical difficulties, power outages, etc.”

Yepez also brought up an interesting point: creating an online exam that is cheat-proof for students is a difficult task for most teachers. 

“Teachers don’t really know if their students are actually understanding class concepts or if they’re just cheating on tests,” said Yepez. “For teachers, it’s probably more difficult to administer finals online because they’re unable to supervise students.”

To see the online finals process from the point of view of a teacher, I interviewed World History teacher Andrew Ho.

Mr. Ho talked about how the stress over online finals is caused in part by issues with distance learning.

I think finals in general are stressful, but I think the online format for school is overall more stressful because it doesn’t provide the same classroom energy, assignments, and support,” Mr. Ho shared.

Mr. Ho also spoke about the positives and negatives of taking classes from home. 

“I think this year is both easy and hard,” said Mr. Ho. “Easy in the sense that I think teachers across the board are modifying and taking into account the difficulties of distance learning, but also hard in the sense that we all didn’t get to approach school the way we wanted this year.”

Good luck to everyone taking finals this semester! Have a great last week of school and a fun-filled summer.