Final Exams do more harm than good

Shannon Tierney, Staff Reporter

As final exams draw nearer students indulge in late nights, study groups, and extra book work to ensure that they know the material.

But is a final exam really a way to accurately express how a student is doing? For example if a student is doing fairly well in a class and completely fails the exam, is it really showing how well they are doing in that subject?

According to an article from in Universities across the country and in Europe final exams are being replaced by take home tests, papers, projects, and group presentations.

As stated in a study at Harvard University final exams are beginning to diminish or disappear. In fact last year at Harvard only 259 of 1137 courses had a scheduled final exam.

Why would a final exam in high school prepare students for a final exam in college that some of them may not even take? High schools should begin to follow the trend of take home tests and projects.

As it is, some teachers expect students to remember material they learned back in August. If a student did poorly on a particular section then, there is no guarantee they will understand it when they go over it a second time. In the end the student would just get penalized twice for most likely making the same mistakes.

It is difficult for all teachers to make time in their busy schedules for open study groups where students can ask any questions that weren’t answered when the lesson was previously taught, so the student is at a disadvantage for the final exam.

Even if the final exam is necessary, should it honestly be twenty percent of the grade a student finishes with at the end of the semester? A student’s grade should not have to suffer because they were having a bad day during the exam.

Students also become sleep deprived during exam season. It’s difficult to do well on such a stress inducing activity without enough sleep.

All in all even if final exams are helping students to actually attempt studying, it is not an accurate way to show off their smarts. When a student takes the exam they should not have to worry about their grade plummeting because of it.

I believe that if a final exam is really necessary then it should definetly be less than twenty percent of the grade. Ten or fifteen percent is at least a little more reasonable.