With finals week just on the horizon, emotional breakdowns are increasing, sleep is decreasing, and stress is skyrocketing. As we prepare for the seemingly important tests, we have to ask ourselves: what is the point of this terror.
Some might say finals measures growth and learning. However, isn't that what teachers and the administrators were supposed to be measuring all semester? We hardly ever receive our finals back and get to review our mistakes. Their is no room for growth after the final.
Finals promote a culture of learning for the grade. The pressure of high school finals causes students to only study for the grade in order to get into their dream college. Finals create a short term memory bank for students that is cashed in on the test and then forgotten. Relearning the material just to forget it again seems quite pointless.
High school finals are unnecessary and help no one. For teachers, they have to write a massive test and spend hours on hours grading. Meanwhile, Students must forget about health, family members, and their lives for one to two weeks. And in the end no one wins.
If Students are taking finals with low Cs and Ds, finals probably won't help them enough to make an impact, even if they do, should they be receiving the higher grade if it stayed consistently low over the semester? Students with high performing standards who have studied long and hard all semester and then their grade drops dramatically from the final. What does this teach them? They are left with a grade that is not a reflection of their long term effort.
I understand reviewing hard material and attempting to understand it is a key process in learning. However, learning is gradual and is done over a long time. In a real life situation, no one will ever ask you to sit down and take an accumulative test to measure your knowledge. There are alternatives to finals- take home projects and test that also measure the knowledge and force students to review the materials. Memorization is not learning. Final exams cause unnecessary stress for all parties involved.