The 2021 EHS virtual finals week

Pavithra Sankar, staff writer

Despite the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and universities worldwide, the aspect of taking finals remained the same, even if it looked different compared to past years. While finals week is stressful and overwhelming, distance learning creates further challenges by altering the traditional exam setting to one through a computer screen. Students at Edina High School recently took their semester finals digitally, which posed both hindrances and conveniences for many learners. 

Though the online format differed from typical exam customs, virtual finals provide students with increased flexibility and control over their testing circumstances. The personal exam-taking situation relieved students of the stressful atmosphere of in-person finals and gave them a more regulated and comfortable space to work with. “Online finals were so much less stressful. Probably because we were at home and I wasn’t in an environment full of anxious people talking about their finals and everything. I was able to just focus on myself doing [well],” junior Eva Doescher said. 

Throughout finals week, teachers played a big role in assisting students through the online process, troubleshooting any occurring issues in their testing periods. Even though the week was heavily independent, teachers supported students and provided them with the required study materials to excel in their finals. “I think teachers recognized that finals this year were much different than finals last year, and so I felt like they were very encouraging and wanted to help us succeed despite the unique circumstances,” freshman Sonja Holtey said. 

In a traditional setting, students are given the same tests, to be taken at the same place, at the same time, using the same equipment. However, remote testing offered new inevitable variables for students such as technical issues, family interruptions, and other distractions. “Noisy family members definitely were a problem. I tried to work in a quieter place but you can only get so far away when in the same house,” freshman Addie Arffman said. 

Although the virtual testing arrangement presented a challenge for many, EHS students adjusted to the unusual format, and enjoyed the ease and satisfaction they received in taking their semester finals at home. “I prefer online finals so much more. So much less stress and pressure surrounding them. For me, it just didn’t feel like finals and that just took the edge off it I guess,” Doescher said.