LFA’s finals and new policies in place

Ella Gartz 23 shares her final exams calendar.

Photo by Photo by Ella Gartz

Ella Gartz ’23 shares her final exams calendar.

Ella Gartz and Max Ma

As December rolls around, students and faculty are buzzing about finals week alike. Beyond the stress of testing itself, the policies regarding how finals testing takes place is stirring discussion and causing some confusion. 

There has not been a permanent policy in place for several years, even prior to the COVID-19 era, as the decision-making has been determined by current discussions of the Academic Council, primarily made up of department chairs. Key concerns have been final projects and papers, and whether students need to be in-person to turn them in or not. Another changing policy has been the required period of time, if any, to sit during the exam. 

The policy this year is that every student must sit during their exam time for a minimum of 90 minutes. Nancy Nassr, Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean, said it is “an opportunity to continue studying, that way we can minimize disruptions in the hallways on campus for students who are testing and may not be done.” Therefore, if a final is a paper or project rather than an exam, students must submit it in person and still sit during the required period. 

However, the History & Social Science Department is an exception to this rule, which according to Nassr is “because of proctoring issues, so it is okay for students to submit and leave, but that’s the only department.” 

Jin Young, a sophomore at LFA, said, “people really do get distracted while test-taking when other people are in the hallway.” 

On the other hand, Mazin Awada, a junior at LFA, shared, “I would rather submit papers and projects on Canvas the night before the finals due date, that way I can sleep-in before my second exam of the day.” Also, another junior at LFA, Jordan Sebolt, shared the same view, “ unnecessary

Another issue with the current schedule is the conflicts in exam times because, historically, each department has had a time for testing. According to Nassr, “The way that the schedule exists, is that we have eight exam slots. …Basically, because we allow students to double and triple in different areas of the school, the schedule that has been created historically, doesn’t actually work to serve the purpose of allowing students to test in a way that is easy, or easily understood.” 

Therefore, Nassr seeks to start “re-examining the final exam schedule” for the future, starting next semester. In order to improve the schedule, Nassr also expressed her interest in hearing more from students about their experiences with finals and what can be improved, as she said, “Students have a really unique and important perspective about how you’re experiencing the policies of LFA. I believe that every decision that we make needs to be student centered.”