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Westport Students Stay Focused to the End

Staples High School students Anya Kostenko, Ethan Siegel and Mie Higuchi have their sights set on summer. But they must clear several hurdles first before they can switch from school to summer mode — final exams.

"I think it's harder to study for finals, versus midterms, because summer is so close," said Ethan, a sophomore. "When you're looking forward to summer, you just want to get finals out of the way."

On Thursday afternoon, Ethan and fellow sophomores Mie and Anya were studying for their chemistry final — their laptops, chemistry textbooks and various worksheets were spread across a table at the library. Final exams began Wednesday and run through Monday.

Beyond the distraction of warm weather and the promise of carefree days, Mie said students also have more to study for finals, because those exams cover material taught throughout the year.

Although the students agree they lose momentum at the end of the year, each has his or her own way of staying on track.

"Thinking of summer actually motivates me," Anya said. "It's one last thing you have to do before you can enjoy the summer, so you might as well give it your all."

For Mie, thinking about her grades keeps her motivated while studying. If she has grades that are on the breaking point, meaning number grades that are on the brink of two letter grades, finals can mean the difference between receiving a B+ or an A-, for example.

Likewise, Ethan said he views finals as an opportunity to improve his grades. "If you didn't do well on something, you have the chance to make up for it, so you want to study," he said.

Do you have a child in high school? How does he or she stay focused during final exams?

(Photo identification: From left are Anya ?Kostenko, Amereen Anande, Kelly Chang, Mie Higuchi, Ethan Siegel and Chase Kelly.)

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