Stop complaining about exam week

A new perspective for exam week


I know that many will disagree with my opinion here, but I’m not worried about it.  Here we go. Exams aren’t that bad.  I promise.  Most high school students look at exam week as one behemoth of a week, guaranteed to chew students up and spit them out of high school.  That is a terrible way to look at exam week and a terrible way to look at life.

Let me elaborate: to look at exam week as nothing but seven exams packed into five days, is like looking at life as  simply every problem you’ve ever faced, and nothing else.  Yes, life does come with many problems, however, there are the many joys of living that we also are able to experience.  Think of exam week as your entire life.

In the five days that make up exam week, there are a total of 120 hours to endure.  If you told me that you were grinding, nose in book, pen on paper for 120 hours straight, I would agree with you that exam week sucks.  Truly, this is not the case.  If a student was so blessed as to take an exam for each of his seven classes, and each of his exams took approximately an hour each, he’s still down to 113 hours to enjoy, minus the time it takes to study and prepare.

Try to find me a guy at Elder taking seven exams, though.  You can’t and you won’t.  Chances are there is a study hall, elective, or another semester-long class that doesn’t have an exam, somewhere in any student’s schedule.  I for instance. only have to take four exams this week, and from what I hear throughout the halls, that’s about the number that most other students have, if not less.

Quill Writer Zach Lyons is lucky enough to only have two exams this semester.  A guy like him has all 120 hours in exam week and he is only spending two of those hours in the classroom.  Say he studies for both of those exams (yeah, right) and perhaps he studies three hours for each exam (again, not a chance).  That is a total of eight hours spent doing exam or school related work.

If Mr.’s Oberjohann, Louis, Groszek and Currin have taught me well, that leaves 112 hours for Mr. Lyons to do as he pleases.  This is why exam week is underrated.  This is why exam week isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.  I’ll be the first to say that exam week is not only a solid, enjoyable week, but that exam week is the best week in the entire school year.

You can disagree with me, but today, I left school at 12:15.  Tomorrow I’ll be at school for three hours at the most, and on Thursday and Friday, I go in to take one exam that I’ve been told will both take less than 45 minutes.  Just like that, exam week is over, and I’ve done a minimal amount of work.  No homework from your classes, breakfast being served in the cafeteria all day, and down time galore.  Fact: exam week is rowdy.

Be honest with yourself.  You’re not going to study for each exam as diligently as you think you are.  You can call that argument pessimistic, but I’ll call it realistic.  Obviously there are the students who will study for every exam they have, morning and night, and ace them with flying colors.  I’m not worried about those guys.  Bravo to them.  They’re probably not reading this.

I’ve experienced seven exam weeks so far, at Elder.  Each and every one of those weeks has been characterized by studying the small amount of time that my attention span would allow me, taking my exams, and passing ever so slightly, then going home before the sun gets the chance to rise.

My main point is, there is so much more down time during exam week than there is work time.  Once you allow yourself to look at exam week as your entire freakin’ life, you’ll realize that there’s nothing to trip about.  Before you know it, it will be Friday night after exam week and you’ll be half-naked in the Field House wearing a toga, cheering “X is soft,” and exam week will be over and the last semester of this 2017 school year will be in session.  Don’t blink.

During exam week, when teachers and parents are worrying more about your exams and grades more than you are, this is a friendly reminder to chill out.  Relax and let the week do its thing.  As Top Dog, Senior President Roman Lee ’17 said on the announcements at the start of exam week: “Stay strong.”  Keep your head down and you’ll wake up on Saturday morning and you’ll realize that I was right, and that exam week was indeed, rowdy.