COVID-19 Causes Change in Final Exams Procedures

Due to the peculiarity of this year, finals exams have several new modifications to ensure the safety of students and faculty.


Maggie McKinney

Junior Elizabeth Nordhus studies for her finals in the journalism lab on Dec. 7.

Liv Zender, Reporter

Final exams are set to take place from Dec. 15-17. For many reasons, modifications have been made for these exams. There are many priorities that have driven these changes, including students’ mental health and safety. Exams now embody 15 percent of each students’ final grade. Students also have an allotted time of an hour and a half to complete their final. These changes are driven by the uniqueness of this year, and contributing factors including COVID-19 safety precautions and the mental health due to these unprecedented times. Junior Anna Baklanov is grateful for the adjustments, even if they may seem insignificant to some, she believes that will help students in the long run. 

I’m happy about the adjustments even if it is just 15 percent compared 20 percent of our grades,” Baklanov said. “Also the fact that exams are an hour and a half at most is nice because that means that the finals have to be way shorter.”

One contributing factor to the changes made to finals included the goal of aiding students with self-care and hopefully lower the stress that this time of year of induces. The administration is aware of the stress, anxiety and ‘burnout’ that came with a largely unpredictable and tough first semester, according to Director of Social and Emotional Learning Jennifer Brown-Howerton. So they made changes to the final exams in order to adapt to such a difficult semester, and Brown-Howerton believes that considering the normal stress of finals is combined with the current situation with coronavirus, the adjustments have the students’ best intentions in mind.  

Students recently received an email providing them with the schedule for finals week. (Liv Zender)

 “I think the adjustments made are fair,” Brown-Howerton said.  “We have to acknowledge that this year has been a bit different than other years due to students being in-person and connected at various times throughout the year.” 

Another change that has been made in the weeks leading up to finals includes the new schedule created for students and faculty. This will hopefully aid in studying and stress relief, as well as provide students with additional time to meet with teachers to discuss and review topics. The week leading up to finals will include four block days, which means attending each class twice for 85 minutes, and two asynchronous days. Asynchronous days mean students will study from home but teachers are available over Zoom and in-person throughout both days. These days also reduce student and faculty exposure. 

“We know that these last few weeks are stressful for students and teachers in a normal year,” McDonough said. “We wanted to minimize that by giving some additional study time and office hours for individual help.”

Do You Like How Finals Are Set Up This Year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...