Final Exams: Friend or Foe?


Photo by Laura Slater

When finals set in, students often try to cram everything the teacher has given them. "It's asking us to remember everything since the first day," Triston Deal (12) said.

Laura Slater, Website Editor

Another semester down, and it’s finals time again. The dreaded, or possibly anticipated, time of year rolls around twice every school year, inciting madness.

In addition to the push to cram and suddenly memorize all that’s been covered that semester, the weeks leading up to and the week of finals is often the time that students suddenly awaken – missing work floods teacher’s desks, and the scramble to raise grades begins. The craze of finals season begs the question – are they beneficial?

“I’m fine with homework because that helps us understand, but with finals, it’s asking us to remember everything since the first day from all our classes which I think is ridiculous,” Triston Deal (12) said. The attitude of hate seems to be popular among most, especially the upperclassmen. After four years of the grueling test schedule, the nervous excitement has worn off into disenchantment. “I think in theory they can be a good idea, but…they are harmful to pretty much everyone’s stress and general health levels,” Carlee Paterson (11) said. “I’d rather we didn’t have finals,” Paterson added, and Deal agreed – “I think finals are not beneficial,” Deal said.

With the typical course load consisting of 6 to 7 classes, many students feel that remembering it all is impossible, and for advanced or harder courses the stress can be overwhelming. “Finals shouldn’t be a thing because a test shouldn’t determine the hard work of a student over the span of a semester,” Tylasia Martin (12) said. When the final exams account for 20% of students’ grades, they feel the pressure to succeed acutely – all the semester’s work might be for nothing. “They cause stress,” Martin said, summing up what most students are feeling.

Most students – but not all. For some, finals are a relief from the drone of homework, and the tests aren’t daunting in the slightest. “They don’t stress me out very much,” Logan Arnold (10) said. “They’re much more helpful for me than homework,” he added. For students like Arnold, finals cater to their test-taking talent, allowing them success – but where does that leave students like Deal, Paterson, and Martin?

“This year it’ll go a lot smoother with less stress,” Arnold said, in stark contrast to Paterson’s comment – “No one has time for anything, including proper studying,” Paterson said.

This coming week, finals are the center of attention, but still, the questions go unanswered. Do finals set students up for failure? With many in their third or fourth year of exams, with still more to come in college, the end or solution – if there is a problem- seems nowhere in sight.

Would you rather we didn't have finals, or didn't have homework?

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