Are Finals Necessary?


Alyssa Boos

As finals approach, waves of stress and dread nest on students shoulders. However, if a student has proved throughout the course of the semester that they were attentive and involved in class, why should they take a final in that class and add more stress to the evermore to-do list that is studying and dreading finals?

It’s the most dreadful time of the year. Students click through Quizlet flashcards while listening to lectures, plead to teachers about that extra percent they need to step up their grade, and sleep on the couches in the bay area after not getting enough sleep because they were studying all night. 

With stress lurking through the air for the most, “joyful” time of the year, how necessary are finals? 

Imagine a student has put their best effort into a class, turning in assignments on time, answering questions when the teacher asks, and is always ready and on time for class. Of course, with all the requirements for success they’ve gotten an A in that class. Over the course of the semester this student has proven that they participate and are knowledgeable about the material being taught, so why should they have to take a final worth 10% of their grade, which can drop that A to a B if they make a mistake? 

“I’ve had an A in English this whole semester and if I don’t get an A on this final, then I’ll get a B in the class,” An anonymous student at Seaman High School stated.

This student has clearly proven that they do not need to take the final in English since they’ve had an A in the class the whole semester. Since they have to take the final, they are under unwanted stress. This stress could affect their grades, or amount of studying attention towards other classes this student takes. 

Laynee Brown, a 4.0 student at SHS said, “I hate them [finals] because they stress me out, since they are worth 10% of our grade or higher.” Brown also stated, “If you have all A’s kids would work ten times harder in order to have those good grades just to not take the final.”

Many may try to say, “You just don’t want to do the work,” but some students are bad test takers because finals stress them out, due to that one test being worth at least 10% of the students overall grade. In college level classes, most finals are worth 15 – 20% of the students overall grade which stresses them out even more than in a regular class. 

While stress can be good by helping you become more productive and improve memory, it can also be bad for you. Stress can cause difficulty when trying to relax, make a person moody, feel overwhelmed, become anti-social, depressed, and upset a person’s digestive system.

People might argue that students need to remember what they have learned throughout the entire semester; that’s what finals are for. While that is important, most students know what they want to do when they grow up, so students from 11-12th grade should take classes that focus on their career rather than learning various skills that they won’t need in the future. When students have to take a variety of courses not relating to their interests, it causes them to learn enough material to pass the tests in a class without fully grasping the entire content. Instead, students learn what they have memorized and once they start a new unit, they forget everything they had just memorized in the previous unit. This flaw in memorizing to test instead of learning the material can lead to poor grades for student’s finals.

With students staying up late the night before studying a big test, cramming all of the last minute knowledge in their brain, drinking lots of coffee in the morning, praying that they stay awake during the test, and hoping they get a good enough grade on the biggest test of the semester to pass the class, finals are an unnecessary burden to students in high school. Taking a class in high school should be an opportunity for students to see how well they did throughout the whole semester rather than the last day of class with a 10% or higher final test.