The Upside of Exams


Junior Kristin sheds a different light on the week most Daisies dread

Do you like exams? It seems like an odd question. A recent Fourcast survey found that 78 percent of Hockaday upper school students don’t like exams. It’s safe to say that most people do not like the thought of pouring half a year’s worth of information into a packet of questions.
So this may sound a bit strange, but I love exams. Okay, maybe not for the few hours when I’m actually taking them, but I think that exams make March much more enjoyable. Before you start judging me, let me explain myself.
First of all: during exams, Hockaday basically gives us an entire week off from school. Sure, we have to be there Monday and Tuesday, but we never learn new material, which is usually the hard part about school. Then comes review day, which is essentially a day off. And to top it all off, Thursday and Friday are early release days.
Of course, this sounds like an over-simplification, even euphemistic. Can you really call it a day off when we’re all studying hard that entire week, trying to cram every bit of information into our brains? Studying is no picnic. However, I don’t see that big of a difference between exams and the tests we take on a regular basis. Sure, they’re double the length and maybe triple the material, but they’re also on topics we have already learned and already tested. We also get more time to study for exams; we get a break from homework, some time off from sports.
Furthermore, some of my fondest memories of Hockaday are from exam week. Granted, that is probably because I’m at that point where everything seems funny. But there’s something about getting together with your friends to “study” that makes the whole experience a lot better than a normal week at school.
If you’re still not convinced, I’m going to play the food card. I like to use exams as an excuse to eat. After all, I am stressed, so why not eat a couple of extra brownies to compensate? What I’ve learned from the past few years is that people at Hockaday like to stress-bake. What comes out of this is a win-win situation. The people who bake are de-stressed; I get some sort of delicious baked good. Everyone is happy. Or at least, our stomachs are.
But I think the best part about Hocka-exams is the fact that they only come once a year. And this time I have the majority on my side. 79 percent of the people who took my survey said that one set of exams was preferable to two. To other schools, March may seem like an awkward time to have exams. However, I think it is perfectly logical and keeps everyone happy. Having exams in March takes a tremendous amount of stress off the numerous girls taking AP exams in May. It also makes the fourth quarter much more relaxing compared to the rigorous three quarters before. And that’s always a bonus.
So maybe even after reading this article, you still won’t like exams. I don’t really blame you; those things aren’t exactly a breeze. But I know for a fact that very few other schools have exams only once a year. And for that, I feel that we have it pretty good.