Finals. Are. Stressful

Students shouldn’t have to take finals if they’ve maintained good grades throughout the school year

Maha Adnan 

If you pass your driving test, you don’t come back a year later to prove you still know how to drive. 

If you’ve learned to tie your shoes at age four, then your parents don’t watch you tie your shoes over and over again. 

If you’ve learned how to cook once, then no one checks and re-checks to see if you still have the skills to cook. 

If you’ve been together with your significant other for ten-plus years, then you don’t need to prove your love by saying “I love you” every single hour. 

If you’ve gotten good grades for the whole school year, then you shouldn’t need to take finals at the end of the year. 

You’d think that’d be true, don’t you? Well, you’re wrong, even though I agree with you. I mean, why do we need to prove that we learned something in the school year at the very end? Don’t my grades throughout the year prove that I learned something? Or what we do during the school year doesn’t matter as long as we pass the finals? 

Even worse, studying for finals usually comes at the expense of students’ sleep. 

According to the Sleep Foundation, “You need to sleep well for at least a week leading up to your exam.” 

A week. Please, give me something I can actually do. Maybe the week after school ends? I mean, I like it when I get a good night of sleep, and the world feels like a better place to live in, and….  all I know is that this isn’t possible during finals. It isn’t possible like, at all. 

At Neshaminy, final exams and midterms are weighed as their own marking period. For some classes, teachers choose not to give a midterm but only a final. So one exam counts as much as all of the assignments, tests, and classwork students do for about two months. This is one of the reasons students take so much stress about having to do good on the final.

  Oh, and add all of the assignmentsandtestsandextracurriculars from all of your other classes to make the perfect stressful month. 

Students are told to start studying for their exams at least a week before the actual exam date. But those same teachers continue to assign homework and tests right up to a few days before the test. Are we supposed to study for the tests that we have to take tomorrow, which can potentially help average out our final grade? Or for the final exam a week later, which counts as a whole marking period grade by itself? 

“What I have noticed a great deal is that kids can put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to succeed,” psychologist Cristina A Scatigno said. 

Students that have worked hard all year round to maintain grades at or above a C, don’t want to risk their grades just because of one exam. And just in case they fail the final, many students try to keep up their current grades as well. 

At this point, I think I can guess what you’re wondering. Why are students supposed to take finals anyways? 

So drum roll please……. 

Finals are taken so that teachers and schools can determine if students have actually learned anything throughout the year (insert eye roll here). 

Hello? What about all of the tests we have been taking all year long? The good grades in home access are not just passed out for free. A student gets them if they get good grades on tests and assignments. And why do they get those grades? Because they know and understand the material. 

Now I’ll admit that we don’t always remember the things we learned from the previous school year. BUT that’s after taking a final exam, so like it’s doing any good to us anyways. 

Another reason, according to The Huron Emery, a school newspaper, is because it will prepare students for college. 

“Final exams provide an important gateway for students to realize their proficiency in the field when choosing an academic career beyond high school,” the article wrote. 

But hold up. Other high schools, such as Bensalem High School, do not make their students take midterms or final exams if they maintain good grades. And guess what? Their students still go to college, and they are still able to choose their future careers. 

So where I’m going with this is… finals. are. stressful. 

And at the end of it all, they’re not that useful. If schools do want to make sure students are learning the material, then they should try using a less stressful method. 

“The problem with traditional final exams is not the material that they are testing,” the wrote, “it is that the format places exorbitant pressure on students.” 

Lots of teachers love giving their AP students end-of-the-year projects, so why not just make it their final? Or maybe schools should start giving quarterly exams (yes, they’re still exams, but we’re talking about the lesser of two evils here). All I know is that there needs to be another way.

Thank you for listening to my rant; now if you’ll excuse me, I have a final exam I need to study for.