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The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Hinsdale Central changes final exams schedule

Exams will now take place before break, affecting students’ preparation plans and winter break.
Yusuf Rafiq
For the 2023-2024 school year, final exams at Central precede winter break.

Hinsdale Central students and teachers face a significant change to the 2023 winter finals schedule. It will affect their preparation and workload, while making for a more restful winter break. 

Previously, finals took place after winter break due to the delay in the start of the school year. This year, the exam schedule will return to its normal pattern. 

This year’s exams will take place during the week of Dec. 18. Exams will last three days.

As a result, students will have a two week winter break without any academic work or stress. The break will stretch from Dec. 25 through Jan. 8.

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The trade off could introduce workload decisions for students, such as balancing studying with activities and homework. For example, a student playing winter sports could face simultaneous commitments such as early morning practices, after school clubs and late night studying. 

According to Christopher Cirrincione, the newly appointed assistant principal, there will be multiple demands on students leading up to exams. 

“There’s a lot of academic pressure when the exams are right before break. There’s a lot in people’s social life as well as what happens in school,” Cirrincione said. 

At the same time the effect on students’ test scores may not be negative.

“If [finals] are before break, it will force me to study and review concepts and that may lead to better scores,” said Adam Izhar, sophomore.

But of course it is not that simple. According to Izhar, he would have to start preparing for his finals earlier while also managing his time with after school activities and homework.

Experts also offer some tips to assist in managing the workload. This includes minimizing media distractions, getting proper sleep and taking breaks. In fact, studies have shown that using media while studying can negatively affect GPA because it interferes with attention and working memory. 

Teacher assistance to students may be a helpful tool in successful test preparation. As students now have less time to study, time must be compensated for with efficiency. 

“Teachers could probably start to review for finals a little earlier than normal so students have more preparation time,” Izhar said. 

Another alternative would be for students to seek out teacher help proactively.

This year’s timing could pose multiple benefits to students. Families would be able to travel and spend more time together, instead of students being focused on studying into their winter break plans. Students would be able to see their friends and get use out of the two week break to rest and rejuvenate, in order to come back to school ready to learn again. 

“I think it helps with retention of information and also gives students a real break between semesters,” said Erin Palmer, English teacher. “They can actually have necessary, carved out, downtime.”

As fall enters into full gear now is the time for students to be mindful. Thinking ahead to what commitments may exist in December and how best to organize them will be the recipe for effective time management. 

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