Most believe schools should get rid of finals, but they may hold questionable benefits for students
December 10, 2019
As we near the end of the semester, many students are eagerly waiting for winter break. With our minds filled with the thought of the holiday season, we cannot wait for those two blissful weeks of absolutely no school.
Yet, as high school students, reality always hits us. Hard. December is not all festive spirits and excitement. It is stressful. Severe, utter stress about a topic none of us want to think about: finals.
Around this time, many of us are already pulling out the Grades app and calculating what our final grades could potentially be. What class do I really need to study for? Which classes are my priorities? Oh no, I need a 100 percent on the final to get an A?
Thoughts like such plague our minds, causing stress and anxiety for finals week to kick in. But, are all the worrisome thoughts and urges to cry really necessary? Are finals necessary?
Many students barely have to think about how to respond. The answer is easy: no. Absolutely not.
According to the Chicago Tribune, journalist Chelsea Farmer argues that “finals are overly damaging to students. A series of shorter and more spread-out tests would be a much more effective way to measure a student’s capabilities.”
The Washington Post also states that according to a school district in Maryland, finals “might not be the best way of measuring what a student has learned.”
And I agree with both. For some classes, finals could become the unpenalized murderer of one’s grades. One stab and that borderline A shoots down to a B, and finals get away without retribution. Finals get away with murder. And who is left to serve the consequences? The student.
But apparently, it does not have to be that way.
Journalists on Her Campus state that one of the five benefits of finals include the ability to “make up for a lackluster performance during the past few months.” In other words, finals could potentially bolster one’s Grade Point Average (GPA). Something questionable indeed. Why not just work hard during the semester? Then one does not have to worry about finals being their ultimate “savior.”
But by viewing finals in a positive light, I could almost see the benefits of these terrifying exams. For one, they test our knowledge on all the material we learned throughout the semester. It also contributes to personal growth. It sets us up for the stress all those college exams will eventually put us through.
Yet, is that not the point of the Advanced Placement (AP) tests in May? After all, AP classes are college-level courses with the purpose of preparing high school students for college. Next to AP tests, finals become insignificant in preparing a student for college. They become, well, unnecessary – causing me to stick to my viewpoint against finals.
Nevertheless, it is, unfortunately, not within the power of the students to decide whether we ought to murder finals and not the other way around. Therefore, finals will always be that murderer on the loose during the holiday season.
Good luck on finals week!