During September of 2015, Montgomery County Public Schools decided to eliminate final exams, and instead use quarterly tests or projects which can test students’ learning comprehension on less content but more in depth.
It is now that time of year where students go into a frenzy, studying furiously for different exams, and the controversy of cancelling final exams is more prevalent than ever.
Final exams bring an unnecessary amount of stress to a time of the school year which should be peaceful.
For students to be fairly tested on the content they learned throughout their time in class, a considerably long and time consuming test would be needed.
It is hard to study and find old materials from the beginning of the year, especially if some teachers decide to not review for a beneficial amount of time.
After working hard all year long, even students with the highest grades have to worry as they frantically try to memorize every piece of information they learned.
An advantageous alternative for final exams would be to have four quarter grades each worth 25 percent of the final grade, or replace final exams with a long term project.
In order to complete a project, students can really show what they have learned without the stress of a testing environment.
With a project assignment, students can show their creativity and the content they learned in a unique way.
Even if a student knows all of the material, the effort and time it takes to complete a project on their work can show them the hard work ethic that they need to use for the rest of their life.
Additionally, students do not get the opportunity to come back to school and receive their final exam grades or see what they could have done differently.
Many students only see the tests’ effect on their grades once they receive their final report card, and have to accept their grade without argument.
For students who passed every quarter with As, final exams can be somewhat tedious and wasteful of time and resources.
After many other standardized tests, final exams can become a bit useless and bring more stress to students who have just went through an even more stressful testing environment.
Many teachers and students would argue that final exams can help many students who fell behind but still learn the material to pick up their grades and prove their knowledge of the material.
However, for most students who are not borderline passing, final exams are an extra amount of stress and do not have any positive outcomes.
If a student really learned the material throughout the school year, they would not need another exam to prove it.
Rather there should be other alternative ways to test a students ability other than a test.
The final exams are repetitive of unit tests, and if a student passes all of their unit tests, then they should not have to prove once again that they know the material.
In a real world situation, if a student fell behind in a class and failed a test, they would need to move on with their life and aim to do a better job the next time.
To give students 20 percent of their final grade out of one exam is to let students go through the year thinking that if they fail one quarter, they have a safety net to bring their grade back up.
Final exams are also a questionable way to show what students have learned. In the real world, students will not be able to take a multiple choice test in a classroom to prove that they know the material.
Students will be challenged and will need to overcome adversity to succeed in life, and schools should take the “finals” opportunity to teach that to their students.
Final exams are not setting any example for students to follow, and they are not benefitting the futures of students in real world situations.