Though there may be a nearly campus-wide hiatus from studying this weekend, we all know what is looming on the other side: the infamous "final stretch." But unfortunately for many students, the last week of scheduled classes is more of a "finals" stretch. Because many professors schedule exams before the end of classes, their students must compensate by shoving in an extra reading period before reading period has even begun. Students are unable to dedicate the appropriate energy toward studying for a final exam when it's heaped on top of term papers, problem sets, and regularly scheduled class.
Professors may intend to hand out exams during a scheduled class as a favor?enabling students to relax during reading period and head home early for summer. But they may not realize that early bluebooks may add undue stress in a student's busy schedule. While it's nice to have the time to enjoy mid-May in Maine and flip through a magazine come reading period, such a leisurely end of the semester may be better spent studying. As it was intended, reading period gives students ample time to truly absorb and understand class material before a final examination.
We hope that the professors who do choose to pass out final exams prematurely do so with only their students' interest in mind. While professors might prefer to administer exams earlier to increase the time they have to score them before final grades are due, they should be sensitive to the fact that by reducing their own stress they might be increasing that of their students.
The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient?s editorial board, which comprises Steve Kolowich, Anne Riley, Nick Day, Adam Kommel, Mary Helen Miller, and Cati Mitchell.