Finals are outdated

As we end the semester, we also reach grade-changing finals


Anisa Kahin

We are coming to the end of the semester, which means we are receiving our final grades. For some, it’s a good opportunity to change your grades, but for many, it’s a stressful time. Finals week is also a time when students start focusing on how their grades will look and how their Grade Point Averages (GPA) will be affected. This means more work for teachers since late classwork is finally being done.

Finals are unnecessary because they are the most impacting grade a student can receive and also determines whether a student is passing or not. An A student can end up with a B if they don’t do well on their final. There is a huge amount of power a single end-of-the-semester test can do to a person’s grade. While it can be a grade booster for some, that isn’t the case for all. 

Another reason why finals are unnecessary is because of the amount of stress put on students. Finals are usually composed of everything a class has learned for the semester jammed into one test. With tests comes studying. But when a test can be detrimental to a student’s grade and/or GPA, that test comes with stress and pressure. Finals week is usually the most stressful week of school for most people.

The last reason that finals are unnecessary is that if a student is already doing well in a class and already averages 90% or higher, a final isn’t needed. Most of the time, students don’t recall the first few units they did at the beginning of the year so having to learn everything over again is exhausting and a true waste of time. Students also have different learning styles, so they might not get everything the first time and need to retake some of their tests, and if that unit is in the final, it would be their third time taking a test on the same subject. 

An alternative that I believe would be less stressful and grade-altering for students is a semester recap. This is something being done in my health class instead of finals and isn’t graded as a summative. As the health teacher Ms. Ross described best, “the assignment will be an easy 20 points that can be used as a grade booster.” We were able to use our notes throughout the semester and answered four-to-seven questions per unit. 

Another alternative I believe would be making cheat sheets for each unit. This isn’t a final I’ve had, but it was an assignment in one of my classes. The requirements were that as long as you understand each unit, you will get an A. Now I don’t believe that the requirements were fair, since it is a cheat sheet and anyone should be able to understand what you are doing but it is better than taking a test jammed into a 90-minute class period. Finals are unnecessary because they cause stress and pressure. They are crammed and are time-consuming for both teacher and students.