Are Finals Accurate?


With finals week coming up next week, the average student’s life can be expected to become jam-packed with stress and constant anxiety. The sacrifice of a student’s well-being makes it debatable if finals are truly a worthwhile and accurate representation of what students have learned over this year.

“[Finals are] stressful and it’s everything you have to,” freshman Varinia Wakeham said. “Not relearn, but [also] remember [the] little bits and parts.

Many students spend countless hours studying for finals as they try to pack in all of the little details they learned throughout the year. It can become a balancing act while one tries to remember all of the little details one learned six months ago.

“I can say from the stuff I’ve learned at the beginning of the year, it’s kind of dulled down a bit. Especially if we haven’t gone through it the rest of the year,” freshman Halle Place said. “I think that relearning the subject adds on to [the] stress.”

As students attempt to break free from the hold finals have over them, it points to the other question that can be raised over finals. Is it truly learning, or just a communicative memorization game?

“Obviously you have to remember the information, but for a 90 minute test of everything you’ve learned throughout the year, it’s just not going to show what you could possibly do,” Wakeham said.

Students feel as if the finals don’t truly represent what they’ve learned and are a rather inaccurate representation of their learning. The problem seems to be rooted in the type of final being administered.

“Is it a 100-question multiple choice [test]? I think [that] is the lowest form of learning,” geography teacher Mr. Nevares said. “Or are you creating a product and engaging in something like a project? That really immerses a student into what they’re learning about and showing [their] skills.”

With a more project based final, students are able to demonstrate their learning in a more engaging way that calls for active student participation, and many seem to agree with this concept.  

“I think that [students] should pick a subject that they’ve learned throughout the year and then do a big project on it,” said Wakeham. “[The project could be done] as a poster board or a big speech.”

This take on finals would allow students to be less stressed and be more captivated in the project. thus allowing them to feel more motivated and demonstrate their learning in a more active way. With this solution it gives teachers an effective representation of what people have learned this year while decreasing student’s stress levels. 

“ We want to do a summation of what it is you’ve learned. All teachers want to know if you’ve actually gotten skills that we’ve taught you over time,” Mr. Nevares said.

With finals still being necessary for schools to know what they’re teaching their students, it is greatly important to give students a way to accurately represent what they’ve learned. Project-based finals can be a way to give students a less stressful and better way of learning.

“It pushes you to go past your basic understanding to another plane of understanding,” Mr. Nevares said. “So I do like the idea of finals, but I don’t like how some people administer their finals.”