The Breezeway

Should Students Be Required to Take Finals?

In+English%2C+Aubrei+Grisaffe+%289%29+pays+attention+during+a+class+discussion.+She+took+accurate+notes+in+preparation+for+the+final+at+the+end+of+the+quarter.+%22Honestly%2C+I+don%27t+understand+why+we+have+to+relearn+topics+for+our+finals%2C%22+Grisaffe+said.
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Should Students Be Required to Take Finals?

In English, Aubrei Grisaffe (9) pays attention during a class discussion. She took accurate notes in preparation for the final at the end of the quarter.

In English, Aubrei Grisaffe (9) pays attention during a class discussion. She took accurate notes in preparation for the final at the end of the quarter. "Honestly, I don't understand why we have to relearn topics for our finals," Grisaffe said.

In English, Aubrei Grisaffe (9) pays attention during a class discussion. She took accurate notes in preparation for the final at the end of the quarter. "Honestly, I don't understand why we have to relearn topics for our finals," Grisaffe said.

In English, Aubrei Grisaffe (9) pays attention during a class discussion. She took accurate notes in preparation for the final at the end of the quarter. "Honestly, I don't understand why we have to relearn topics for our finals," Grisaffe said.

Emma Nguyen

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The end of each quarter is a stressful time. During finals week, students have to relearn information that they were introduced to at the beginning of the course. As a result, most forget the current subject matter, which slows their educational progress.

Consequently, students should not be required to take finals. As long as they maintain their 8×8 privilege and a passing grade, they should be exempt from exams. Students have already had multiple tests in a class and shouldn’t have to take an additional comprehensive exam. By passing tests, progress is tracked and evaluated throughout the entire course. Courses build on past topics, and students should have already mastered a subject area in order to advance to the next point in a class. Therefore, taking a cumulative exam does not reveal anything new about the students’ abilities to the teacher. Students will most likely perform as usual on a final exam. Many assume that those who have done well on unit tests in the past will score high and others with dropping grades will score below average.

A final requires relearning past information, quickly crowding the brain with unnecessary facts that will only be forgotten. One can only retain so much information at once, and with finals occurring on two consecutive days, students often become overwhelmed.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Previous problems or bad experiences with test-taking can lead to a negative mindset and influence performance on future tests.” As a result, many do not perform well in a stressful testing environment, and they will not score as high as they are capable. This skews the test results and does not give the educators an accurate representation of the student’s comprehension.

While many may argue the importance of reviewing and testing past skills, students are only retracing their steps, thus slowing them down in the process of learning. Therefore, to insure that students are advancing at a steady pace, they should not be required to take finals based on preset conditions. Midterm exams in particular force students to drop the new material they are currently learning and instead study past chapters in preparation for the final.

As long as students have a passing grade in a class by the finals week in each quarter and maintained their 8×8 privilege, administrators should not require students to take their finals for the respective courses. Finals serve as redundant and unnecessary tests, and students should have to take finals only if they fail to uphold the requirements or choose to raise their grade in a particular class.

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