Meaning Behind Relax & Review

Does this look familiar? Students all over the country are getting ready to take their final exams and head off to summer vacation.

Does this look familiar? Students all over the country are getting ready to take their final exams and head off to summer vacation.

As the end of the year is approaching, so is finals week, which means stress is heightened. For many of us, our finals are cumulative assessments of the entire year. For most a regular unit test is challenging enough, and now the ultimate challenge is being tested on a year’s worth of material. Typically, students have a “dead week” the week prior to finals. This gives students time to study and prepare for their finals without receiving work or having assessments.

 In the past, Cathedral called the week prior to finals “dead week”, but it did not resemble the name. Students were still given homework, quizzes, and tests, added on top of their studying for finals. This was very problematic for CCHS students, and resulted in many complaints. Students brought up valid points about why this was an issue. A senior at Cathedral Catholic stresses how, “Students shouldn’t be learning new material a few days prior to a year long final. We also shouldn’t be given busy work, as we have enough stress and important work to do to prepare for our finals.” I think all students agree with this and share the frustration that is felt.

Recently, Cathedral has changed the title of “dead week” to “relax and review week”. I reached out to Mrs. Bailleul, Dean of Academics, to get some insight on the details of “Relax and Review”. Mrs. Bailleul told me that teachers are allowed to teach content and review, but may not give quizzes or tests. She also shared that teachers are allowed to split their final into two sections, so one section would be given to students during “Relax and Review Week”, and the other sections during finals week. Mrs. Bailleul also shared how many teachers have strayed away from the traditional cumulative test, and have transitioned to projects. If students have projects as their finals, they most likely will use their class time in “Relax and Review Week” to work.

For the benefit of the students’ mental health and grade performance, all schools should consider blocking off the week before finals strictly for studying. No new material should be learned, no busy work should be given, and no tests or quizzes. Having study halls and the resource of asking teachers questions about material during class will have a positive impact on the students. It is also important to focus on students’ mental health during this time, as that is far more important than a grade in school. 

As we head into finals week and the end of school, remember to prepare yourself so you can showcase all that you have learned this year on your final exams. Also remember that a grade does not define you, and to simply try your best. And at the end of the tiring week of tests, you get the biggest reward of all: Summer!