Are Final Exams Fair?

It is that time of year again! A time when teachers are busy making multiple-paged review sheets and their students are busy cramming information in their heads. It is the end of the school year. Which means it is time for final exams. Final exams cannot come at a worst time.

Everyone is talking about his or her fun summer plans, and the last thing anyone wants to worry about is finals. However, students have to worry about these tests when they realize it counts for twenty percent of their overall grade. But are finals really fair? Finals have the potential to ruin student’s grades. Throughout the entire year, students strive to achieve a decent grade. They spend 18 weeks studying hard for countless tests and quizzes or fighting through writers block to get essays completed on time. So, it is safe to say that the students who want a good grade work hard at it all year.

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Is it fair to have a single test make or break a students’ grade? My answer is no. Finals pose loads of stress on students and even teachers. Stress is harmful to our health. Ninety percent of doctor visits have something to do with stress the body is under going. The human body never runs perfectly when it is overloaded with stress. Not only is it emotionally draining, but also stress can lead to depression, heart disease, and hair loss.

Teachers must find time create huge review sheets on top of trying to finalize grades. They focus a majority of time answering and covering every single bit of information that could be on the final. Teachers want students to do well on their finals, so we devote the last two weeks just studying for finals. Even though 18 weeks sounds like a long time, it is not enough time for teachers to make sure they covered everything the district wants them to have covered. If we did not have finals, teachers would have extra time to make sure their students are prepared with knowledge to carry them wherever they head next year.

It is the argument of quantity versus quality. Should students learn a great deal of information quickly just for finals or should students fully grasp the lessons the teacher chose to spend a majority of time on? Like most students, I will inevitably be studying all night preparing for finals. Throughout the school day, I see the stress it puts on both students and teachers. I have heard countless how finals brought grades down. All this stress can be easily avoided. Completely erasing the finals would fix the problem, but even simply making it count for less would go along way for students and teachers.

We had the whole year to establish a grade we deserved. Why do we need a test that might not be an accurate representation?