While spring break is always a welcome reprieve from the stress of college, one issue constantly crops up for students. Professors often tend to stack exams and assignments either the week before or after spring break, leading to increased difficulties for students. Frustratingly for some, the piling up of assignments after spring break can necessitate work over break. It is important to remember that spring break serves as a time when students can decompress and relax, and that’s difficult to do when they have multiple assignments hanging over their head. Furthermore, students who schedule trips or other extended activities over break may have a difficult time completing this work.
It is understandable why professors often schedule exams around spring break. It is more or less in the middle of the semester, so a class with one midterm will almost inevitably feature an exam around this time. At the same time, instructors should understand that almost everyone does this and make adjustments accordingly. This could be as simple as polling students as to whether it would be better to have an exam before or after spring break, or pushing it a week in one direction or the other to avoid conflicts.
While this issue often crops up around spring break, it is indicative of a larger issue with stacked exams in general. Virtually every student has had that week in college where several exams or papers are due and they have to work around the clock to keep their head above water. While this may just be a part of life, professors and UConn in general could be doing more to alleviate the burden on students.
This could be as simple as professors in the same department communicating with one another. Many students, especially in majors like engineering, have a relatively rigid schedule and are often taking the same classes. Professors should therefore know what other classes students are likely to be taking if they are on the correct track. They can then talk with whoever is teaching those classes and do their best to stagger exams or major assignments. While this may not help everyone, it could make a difference in relieving stress for a lot of individuals.
In general, it should be fairly straightforward to identify classes that students often take concurrently, even if they’re not in the same major. While it may be difficult to implement, UConn could even set up a database allowing instructors to see what classes their students are taking and when major assignments or exams are planned in each subject. Professors could then adjust exams to help out as many students as possible. Regardless, it is irresponsible for instructors to continue scheduling exams only with regard for their own courses.