Many students leave long and important tests with their heads fried, not wanting to do anymore work that day. There is a simple solution to this testing issue: let students leave school early after taking any final or standardized test.
On March 7, juniors had the opportunity to take the SAT for free. The test began at 9:00 and ended at 1:00. After this students were instructed to return to class to finish the day, which made many of us Juniors unhappy. We believed that we should have been able to leave after the test..
Personally, I was exhausted with the boring passages and confusing math problems I was faced with during the exam. I was appalled knowing that I had to stay in school for just one class period with my brain completely empty.
The class I was supposed to attend afterwards was an art class. As soon as I got to class, my teacher clearly understood how tired I and the rest of the juniors in his class were, so he allowed us to rest for the period.
I cannot speak for how every teacher handles burnt out children but from what I heard from fellow Juniors, many teachers take a similar approach.
The same principle applies to final exams. At the end of each semester, many teachers require a final exam for their class. Over the past few years, there have been two finals per day. As soon as those final exams are completed, there is not much else needed for the day, unless students want to study more.
Schools such as Woodward, Pace, and Westminster allow their students to leave campus after they have completed their final exams. Also, many colleges end their class after final exams. Why can’t Grady follow this same standard?
During my sophomore year, I took two final exams very early in the final exams’ week. After taking those finals, those two classes became free periods where I felt like nothing productive was accomplished the rest of the week.
If school is meant to be a place of teaching and learning, why should I be going to school where there may be no teaching or learning after final exams? Perhaps students could be using this time to catch up on potential late assignments or studying for other final exams, but they can work on what they need to without attending school.
I am aware that Atlanta Public Schools (APS) has to follow the instructional calendar which requires that students attend Grady from 8:30 until 3:30. With this testing issue, there is no reason why we cannot make this exception allowing students taking final exams, Advanced Placement (AP) exams, SATs, whatever they may be. Hopefully I would be able to use the rest of my day after my tests the way I want to.