Finals Week of Winter 2020 

By Olivia Mendoza (10)

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On December 16-17, students faced the two most rigorous days of the semester. The reason? Finals. Regardless of the pandemic, finals alone make Ayala’s scholars stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. The student body tends to give their last push to determine their final grade for each class. 


Since the school's original opening in 1991, finals have always been done in person. But of course, 2020 was not going to let that happen. This year, finals were conducted online. 


The real question is do students prefer an in-person or online setting for finals? 


A survey was conducted, containing the input of 73 current students. Overall, 51 peers voted for the virtual learning setting, while the other 22 voted for an in-school setting. While looking closely at these numbers, the percentage of students who voted for at-home finals made up 70 percent, as the other 30 percent preferred the in-person setting. What causes such a significant margin between the two? 


Ryan Phua (10) casted her vote for preferring to take finals at school. Although the majority of students voted for virtual finals, Phua’s reasoning concludes that “the class setting is most definitely more comfortable” especially while taking finals. Being at school makes her feel “at ease.”


Sophomore Jayden Smith definitely agrees with Phua. Smith notes that he is more of a hands-on learner, as he said, “I can concentrate more in person because I could focus on the instructions as well as the task at hand, whether that be projects or tests.”  


Focus appears to be a common phrase for students who voted for in-person learning. Others stated that finals are “more manageable, and there are usually less distractions.” One student brings a valid point to the table. They seemed to “feel less lonely as I knew that I wasn’t the only one going through finals.” 


Fellow peers who preferred taking finals at home all agree on a common factor: comfort. Understandably, finals make students restless and tense, especially when they are in an environment where others are around, possibly making the situation worse.


The standard of finals this year were considerably more manageable than previous years considering that the entire world is in a global pandemic. With apparent lenience, many students agree that under the circumstances, finals were not their biggest worry. Teachers decided to lower the number of questions, not make it worth as many points, or not even have a test. 


Freshman Ara Ko had never experienced finals before, let alone even stepping foot on campus for a normal school day. Upon encountering finals, her thoughts were that “it was pretty easy to study for. I would like to think online finals are better because from what I’ve heard everyone usually has finals in every class.” Many other freshmen agree with Ko’s statement.


Regardless if students at Ayala are under or upperclassmen, finals challenged students to learn and push their limits. Here’s to a new semester, Bulldogs!