Alternative finals ignite less student stress


Alexa Di Luca, Staff Writer

Memorizing 250 vocabulary words, historical timelines, diagrams and essay topics is what is in store for many Staples students during finals week. However, some teachers are eliminating student stress by replacing a traditional final test with an alternative assignment.

Forensics is a paradigm of a class that has an alternative type of exam. Science teachers Michael Lazaroff and David Rollison created a mock murder trial for their students to investigate and propose their case as the prosecution or defense.

“[The] students work harder and enjoy it more [because it allows them to] take ownership of what they know. It’s as much fun for it us as it is for the kids,” added Rollison with a smile.

Forensics is only a part of the long list of classes that have alternative finals.

“For Child Study I had a to write a paper and fill out a chart explaining the progress of my child student. I definitely prefer projects over tests because I find it hard to study and do well,” Kaela O’Kelly ’15 commented.

In addition, Jessica Shaw ’15 shared that several of her classes are taking a different route than a two hour test. She is writing an essay on the recession for AP Economics, making a Prezi about women’s progression in society for AP U.S. History and presenting her research paper for English.

While many students may be thrilled to have their exam replaced by an alternative assignment, others feel that it causes even more stress to accumulate.

“I would have definitely preferred a test because [my anatomy project] took about 75 hours of my time and was definitely the hardest project I’ve ever had to do,” Sam Karpenos ’15 explained.

However, the majority of students are thankful that 10% of their final grade will not have them staring at a textbook and their notes for hours on end.