Every year when the arrangement of final examinations is announced, a number of men find their schedules entirely unsatisfactory. This is as inevitably true as that a coin tossed up enough, times will eventually come down heads. To make examination schedules equally attractive to everyone is obviously impossible. But the popular idea that the names of the various courses are put on individual slips of paper, and the examination dates drawn by lot in a sort of orgy in University-4, is far from the fact. The actual plan of arrangement is based on two considerations. First examinations in courses mainly for Seniors and graduate students are placed early in order that the grades may be returned, in time for Commencement. Second, the whole schedule is made out with the idea of having hard and easy days alternate for the largest possible number of men. For example, on Monday, June 5th, there may be nine hundred men taking examinations. Then Tuesday the sixth will be arranged as a correspondingly "light" day, and so on.
This method unavoidably causes some inconvenient combinations, and the man with six examinations in the first five days, although a rarity, still exists. But no practical method could be devised fairer to the great majority of men.
There is one way, however, which would relieve the pressure on the considerable minority who still find their first week of examinations crowded, as well as benefiting anyone having examinations on the first day. Examinations begin this year, for example, on Thursday, June 1st. If classes on the first three days of that week were omitted, the tension of the first week of examinations would be entirely omitted without any great loss in most courses. Tuesday, May 30th, is a holiday, anyway, and classes on the last day of the College, year, Wednesday, are in large measure relatively unimportant. The two or three days freed under this plan would be greatly appreciated by most instructors, who are generally buried in work at the end of the year winding up their courses; and the extra time for study would give all men with examinations coming in the first few days, especially the minority, with crowded schedules, an equal chance with the more fortunate majority.