Students currently enrolled in Regents level Global History (H3G) and Regents level American History (H53) will not take a curricular final examination during final exam week, which spans from Tuesday, January 26 to Friday, January 29.
Instead, students will take in-class final exams. The content of these exams will be determined by the teacher and may or may not be cumulative.
“This method is better for teachers as well as students because certain teachers emphasize certain things, so an in-class exam would give teachers more flexibility as to what they want being tested,” Assistant Principal Social Studies Jennifer Suri said. However, many teachers were indifferent about the policy change. According to Social Studies teacher Muriel Olivi, “Both testing methods have their advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, I liked the uniform final exam because it was more objective. However, I did have to spend extra time on topics I felt just weren’t that important.” American History teacher Warren Donin agreed. “Whatever the department agrees with, I agree with,” he said.
This is the first year that the policy will be in effect. According to Suri, its success this year will determine whether or not the policy is renewed. “We’ll see if it goes well. If it does, we’ll do it again next year,” Suri said.
The policy change was a continuation of last year’s experiment, in which the senior course Economics (H8) was not given a final assessment for the first time. The change does not affect Advanced Placement (AP) World History (H3WX) or AP United States History (H53X), since AP social studies classes, aside from AP European History (H3GX), are never given curricular final exams. The only other history class not given a curricular final exam is American Government (H7V).
Suri decided to make the change for the benefit of the students. “We want to take the pressure off for students during exam week,” she said.
The majority of students expressed excitement and approval for the change.
“This really takes the pressure off of the many finals I have during finals week, not to mention the English Regents,” junior Monil Shah said.
“I like the policy as not every teacher teaches materials at the same pace, causing those of us whose teachers did not teach the material on the final to be at a disadvantage,” junior Ken Shiu said.
However, some students expressed their displeasure.
“I’d rather have a few extra days to study for the finals than do an in-class one,” sophomore Kevin Han said.