Opinion: Teachers Need to Stop Assigning New Work Before Finals


Nuha Maflahi, Reporter

Next week is finals week for students, one of the most stressful times of the school year. During finals week students have to study for exams for all their classes, keep up with assignments teachers give them, and participate in sports and extracurricular activities, all while trying to keep up with their own needs. This week is known for being demanding in terms of mental health as most students don’t get enough sleep or give up on their mental health, for the sake of getting everything done. 

The worst part of finals week is trying to study for finals while trying to learn the new material that teachers keep giving. Many teachers assign homework until finals week, leaving only a few days where students can revise as much as they want. This only leaves students with two options. They can study while teachers are still giving new assignments and just try to keep up with both, or they can study for all their subjects a few days before finals when teachers stop assigning homework.

The problem with the first option is students usually finish their homework late at night, so they’re too tired to even study for finals. Studying for only a few days doesn’t work as The American Psychology Association (APA) says on their website that, “while last-minute cramming may allow you to pass a test, you won’t remember the material for long,” according to Williams College psychologist Nate Kornell, PhD. Another specialist in test prep, Colin Grunewald says that to do well on a test, students should stop studying 12 to 24 hours before the exam starts. Students also need 8 hours of sleep before an exam. Studying for only a few days isn’t going to work.

Teachers ironically tell students to get sleep before finals and then make it impossible for students to study properly and get enough sleep with the work they’re given. It is impossible to keep up with assignments, study for finals, participate in extracurricular activities, take care of their mental health, and get enough sleep. To be able to prepare for finals, while taking care of themselves, students need to be given more time to study for exams. Teachers need to stop teaching new material at least a week before finals start to give students enough time to study for finals. Just because it’s finals week, doesn’t mean it’s okay to pile up work for students, who are struggling enough as it is.