Finals Freshmen Preparation

With the intense pressure placed on CHS students to succeed, how well is the school preparing them?


(Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Students study for final exams at Hinsdale Public Library on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Just like at Clayton High School, freshmen across the country struggle with stress around preparing for finals.

Before CHS students can enjoy the freedom of winter break, they must first endure the trying finals week. While some upperclassmen begin to relax after having taken the exams before, many CHS’ newest students, the freshman class, spend the upcoming weeks stressing out over what are presented as the most important assessment they will take each year.

As the newest members of the school, freshmen are unfamiliar with the foreign idea of a single test, or in some cases assignment, being worth so much of their final grade. To assist the students, teachers provide time to study and prepare in class, as well as give extra material to aid them in their studying.

CHS freshman Jonah Feinstein provided his insight on the preparation of freshman for finals. “I think that we were very well prepared for the difficulty of the content on the finals,” Feinstein said, “I felt prepared, although I didn’t go to the freshman finals orientation so I don’t know if there was something that could have provided further insight.”

I don’t know if there was something that could have provided further insight.

— Jonah Feinstein

The finals orientation, or Finals Festival was an event hosted by the school which allowed students to move through two sessions, each a 45 minute period in which students are able to discuss with upperclassmen the process of finals, and what they should expect. The students who assisted the freshmen were helpful and engaged. Unfortunately, of each student’s multiple periods there was only enough time for two to be visited.

The orientation also only provides help for the core classes, but does give some insight into how the elective finals will occur. This is largely in part due to the elective classes being numerous, and many giving other assignments instead of a traditional exam.

Some teachers provided their students with a study guide or packet explaining in what manner the final would occur. “This was provided for some of our classes, but not all of them.” Feinstein said. “A single study guide that you had the option to fill out and then study from would have been nice for all of our classes.”

While teachers attempt to provide the best material to prepare for the finals, many students still felt the extreme stress and pressure to perform to their fullest ability. It is difficult to remove such pressure from an exam or project worth so much of a student’s semester grade, another number which holds so much value and importance to their academic career. While it is difficult to provide every freshman with the exact introduction and information they require, CHS does its best to prepare every new student for the very first of eight monumental weeks.