Finals grading changed in student’s favor


Final exams can only positively impact a students grades. Underclassmen will be taking their exams in the last two weeks of school.

As this bizarre school year comes to an end, one thing has proved inexorable: final exams. The exams must be given in all high school courses.
However, in response to family feedback and student check-ins, FCPS has made the change that final exams can only serve to improve a student’s grade.
Final exam grades that would not improve the final grade will be excluded.
This decision was one of many this year made to lessen the stress of students challenged by virtual learning and improve social and emotional wellness. Students are still expected to take their exams.
“I like the fact that final exams can only raise your grade because if you’re not doing very well in that class, it can only benefit your grade. I think it is a good last chance to raise your grade,” freshman Madison Mum said.
Yet, this new change has been a subject of contention among teachers and students alike.
Some now view the exams as pointless for students already passing a class or for those satisfied with their grade.
Some have also noticed a loophole: students hypothetically could skip a class’s final exam and not worry about their grade being affected.
“I think final exams should be optional for those who want to raise their grade. I do find it pointless to take the exam if you are already passing the class,” Mum said.
“I do think it devalues the concept of a final and it would not surprise me if students treated it the same way. The number of kids who will use it to try to improve their grade will not be as great as some might hope so I am worried many may not even show up,” History teacher Joe Valentino said.
Biology teacher Riley Holt says he believes the decision should have been left to teachers as they know their students best. He adds, “…If a student decides not to complete the final that is their choice as the rule is in their favor. What I am worried about is whether this decision will affect student’s work ethic and desire to learn in the future.
Still, some students are optimistic about the decision and are eager to boost their grades. Further, this opportunity probably won’t be around next year.
“When I first heard we would be taking final exams, it had annoyed me since we had just finished taking our SOLs, but now that I look into it, it’s only another tactic to help improve ones’ grade,” Freshman Dina Tefiani said. “My grades this quarter certainly wouldn’t mind a good improvement, so I’d like to take the exams’ in hopes it will satisfy me.”