Students Experience Pressure at the End of the Quarter


Photo by Keira McDowell

Photo of a student’s workload near the end of the quarter with multiple assignments due within a short period of time.

Keira McDowell, Staff Writer

It is no secret that the end of the quarter can be stressful for students and teachers alike. Finalizing summative assignments and quarter grades within a short time period can be a lot to handle.

“The end of the quarter is almost always stressful for me, because some of my teachers cram big assignments and grades at the end of the quarter,” said sophomore Tanya Srivastava.

From a student perspective, they have to turn in or complete multiple assignments in a short time period. Many teachers have a few summatives at the end of the quarter which can quickly add up across a student’s seven classes.

“I normally have two large assessments due [within the last two weeks in] every single class,” said junior Jayda Roth, “One of them might be a test that I have to study for and another might be a project, essay  or presentation.”

With so many assignments in a short time period, additional pressure is put on the students to do well on them to help their final quarter grade be where they want it to be. If a student has seven or more summatives across one week they are not often able to prepare for them all the best they could due to the high numbers and stress levels.

“I try to put my best effort into all of my assignments, but I think my best effort when I’m the most stressed isn’t the same as my best effort when I’m not as stressed,” Roth said. 

Students do not often receive some of their grades until after the quarter has ended. This leads to some stress over the few final assignments that are yet to be graded as students do not know how they may affect their grade.

“I have most of my grades in on the final day of the quarter, but sometimes I have one or two grades that go in after the quarter ends,” Srivastava said. 

This stress is especially prevalent at the end of the year as the last few grades determine what a student’s final grade for the year is. This final grade specifically cannot be improved and brought up like it can be in the previous three quarters.

Procrastination also plays a role in how much stress students may have at the end of the quarter due to needing to complete late work on top of other work due the last week. Procrastinating only adds to the workload and stress levels near the end of the quarter and makes things more difficult for students.

“Oftentimes I have big assignments that I procrastinate on and have to finish the last week since I left them off until then,” Srivastava said. 

To overcome some of these problems, it was mentioned that teachers could work on improving spreading out assignments throughout the length of the quarter rather then having assignments piling up at the end of the quarter.

“I feel like it might be helpful if not all the work was happening in the span of two weeks and it was spaced out better throughout the quarter,” Roth said. 

From a teacher perspective, they often have a lot to grade. They have to grade retakes,  late work and other assignments from the end of the quarter to grade all within a set time.

“I have to make sure everything is finalized in the gradebook and that all missing assignments are turned in or at least attempted that way I can get those grades in,” said Hannah Lewis, science teacher.

It can be stressful for teachers to manage the grading and making sure that all of their students have what they need turned in.

“It’s a lot of pressure with a lot of moving pieces. If you’re not organized, then it kind of turns into a big train wreck,” Lewis said.

Teachers also recognize that work tends to build up at the end of the quarter and that spreading out the work throughout the quarter is beneficial to both parties.

“I try to sequence out [summatives] where it’s not seven due dates all at the same time or seven different projects all at the same time, because it helps you guys time manage and it also helps me grade them in little bite sized pieces,” Lewis said.

The end of the quarter is a stressful time with a heavy workloads for both students and teachers alike.