UWO needs a true finals week

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Every semester students are faced with at least three weeks of stress leading up to finals week. Not only is a week with an exam in almost every class in your schedule hard, but having to still go to class and learn new material during that week makes it even worse.

UW Oshkosh does not have a week strictly dedicated to final exams. Instead, students get to endure the struggle of trying to find time to study while still attending classes.

Now some may say this is no different than any other week that a student has an exam, but it is much more than that. This is not just one exam a student has to study for, but in some cases, six or seven.

Dealing with a week of classes, as well as studying and finishing last minute projects is a recipe for stress overload and lack of sleep. Trying to find time to complete papers and get together with groups to work on projects doesn’t leave students with nearly enough time to study.

UWO needs to give students a week dedicated solely to final exams, a week with no classes – just specified times – to take each exam.
Senior Nicole Gammon said she thinks UWO’s current system of finals week isn’t what is best for students.

“I think it should be its own week,” Gammon said. “Finals in education are mainly all projects and presentations, but still.”

Being an education major, Gammon said that even though she doesn’t have to deal with all of the same stress of finals as other majors do, she doesn’t think it’s fair for anyone to have to learn new material a day before it shows up on a final exam. Having to study this brand new information along with everything else they’ve learned that semester in just a few days can be overwhelming.

Although projects and presentations may seem easy to juggle among regular day-to-day classes during finals week, it would be nice for many students to have that extra time outside of class to finalize all of their assignments and be able to produce their best possible work.

Senior Sam Walvort said she doesn’t feel the need to make a change to how finals week works here.

“I like the finals the way it is right now,” Walvort said. “It feels more natural instead of being so full of pressure.”

Walvort said that because students are still obligated to go to class during the week, it makes finals week seem like any other week in the semester.’
“This way it doesn’t stand out as this big stressful week,” Walvort said. “It’s just another week.”

As students move on in their majors, a lot of their finals weeks become more project-oriented. While they still have some exams, a lot of classes assign a project or paper to round out the semester.

UWO student Margaret Geertsen remembered back to when she was taking her general education classes early on in her college career and how overwhelming they often were.

“When I was in gen eds I remember being super stressed out with finals week,” Geertsen said. “We would have a normal class on Monday still and then an exam on Wednesday. You’ll still be learning new content [up until] taking the exam.”

Geertsen said she sympathizes for those students who have all of their exams packed at the end of the week or in between normal classes.

“I think you should be able to dedicate that entire week to studying,” Geertsen said. “If they really want us to be academically successful I think a week dedicated to finals would be better.”

Not only does going to class take study time away from students, it can be stressful for students to sit in class and pay attention while all they can think about is their exam that is coming up in their next class.

If UWO gave students a week dedicated strictly to final exams, it would prevent students from having to cram and pull all-nighters trying to study.

Not all students would take advantage of the extra time they have to study, but a lot would.

UWO needs to put students’ academic success first and dedicate the last week of each semester to exams only.