It’s that time of the year. Students are finally being forced to confront the essay they were assigned on the first day of class, groups are finally meeting up to practice for their presentations and study groups are forming, all in preparation for the end of the semester. However, the semester would not be able to come to a close without finals.
As if finals were not difficult enough, Montclair State has sought to make them even more difficult for the student population by eliminating the reading day and creating a complex, confusing and problematic finals schedule.
It comes as no surprise that students need an ample amount of time to shove a semester’s worth of facts, data and theory into their heads before they take their finals. However, this year, Montclair State did not equip students with a reading day for the Fall semester.
By providing the university a reading day, both professors and students have time to prepare for the upcoming week of finals. This day is crucial for the entire community to get in a final push when it comes to studying and grading and also allows students a chance to relieve the stress they have built up over prior weeks. This day, included in the spring semester each year, has proven itself a great advantage to both students and faculty.
With the university calendar set up as it is, many students will be unable to find time to study. Due to the cost of attending Montclair State, many students are forced to work during the weekend in order to stay in school, pay for groceries and pay back their student loans. This puts many at a significant disadvantage.
In the height of the holiday season, many students work extended hours, which can put a tremendous amount of pressure and stress upon them. They may find it extremely challenging to find time to study. When the university provides these students with a reading day, the administration is really giving them a chance to do the studying they may have been unable to do previously.
Regardless of one’s ability to study, everyone needs to take finals. While it seems routine, many students have quickly found that the current finals schedule is problematic.
The document itself is fairly complex and confusing to new students and professors. Yet, after taking a second look, some students have realized that they have two finals at the same time. For example, on Monday, Dec. 14, the first day of finals, classes that have their first or only meeting on Monday or Thursday at 8:30 a.m. are scheduled to take their final at 8 a.m., but the schedule does not make considerations for students who have class on Monday at 8:30 a.m. and on Thursday at the same time.
With the current schedule, these finals happen simultaneously. Obviously, students cannot be in two places at once, so they are forced to work out other arrangements with their professors, adding to their already-mounting levels of stress.
All these problems could be avoided if finals were held during the time that classes are normally scheduled to take place. If professors are able to design tests that take two hours to complete, they can surely create tests that take 45 minutes less to complete in order to fit into a familiar schedule. Doing so would definitely help professors and students, as their entire week’s schedule would not be out of whack.
In the future, it is important to consider a reading day and using a simple and familiar finals schedule when making the university calendar. This has the ability to benefit the entire community and provide a happier and less stressful end to the semester.