Finals After Two Years of Exemptions

After two years of virtual learning as a result of the pandemic, SHS students are expected to sit for finals again. For seniors, this is their second time taking final exams; but, it is also their last. Sophomores have not taken finals since seventh grade. How will students manage this unprecedented position that they are put in and excel on finals?


Ava Schnipper and Ethan Karp

Finals can be dissected into Regents, projects, and tests given by the respective academic departments. Not every class gets a final – meaning that for some students they might have finals every day during finals week, while for others, the last week of school marks the end of the school year. 

“At least for me, I get exempt for senior math finals, so I’m not taking any final tests this year. But if I was taking it, I mean at that point, yes I would study for them, but there’s virtually no pressure on me,” said Ethan Wachs ’22. Seniors in similar situations like Wachs have taken finals just once throughout their high school career. 

“I think it’s obviously stressful considering that it goes for your grade. Usually, you would think that at the end of the year most people will not work as hard since you’re going towards the summer, yet they have to take another test which puts added pressure on them,” commented Wachs. 

With only a few weeks left of classes before finals for seniors, seniors are able to focus on preparing for college and completing their final projects. For sophomores and freshmen, on the other hand, final exams will be a source of stress until their senior year. Considering how long they went without final exams due to the pandemic, it will be a difficult transition. 

Underclassmen who have not taken a final since sixth grade find themselves in a demanding position. For instance, many are “scared because they haven’t taken them in so long and it’s stressful to have a grade that can affect their averages so largely,” explained Jenna Grossbach ’25.

There is a large variety of students who are intimidated by the idea of finals. Many of them struggle to remember the material they learn in one unit, let alone an entire year. When asked, many students realize that they cannot recall what they learned a few weeks ago. 

Without the experience of final-taking, many students do not “…know how much material [they] will remember.” Many believe that although much of the material on the final they would have known at some point during the year, the sheer amount of material to cover makes it impossible to study each unit as in-depth as a regular test. It will be difficult for students to remember ten months’ worth of material for one final assessment.

Scarsdale High School wishes good luck to the students taking finals this year. Study hard, and remember, summer awaits!