by Elly Beauchamp | Editor in Chief
As I look at my exemptions page on skyward, only two classes light up, and of course, they are my only regular classes.
Finals have always been the crux of student life, the big event waiting at the end of each semester to completely ruins the holiday season. How are we supposed to focus on all of this Christmas spirit when we are constantly dragged down by finals.
Almost like clockwork, teachers decide to be kind to their students and give them projects instead of tests to “lighten their workload.” But when every teacher decides to be “kind”, the workload only increases, and it increases dramatically.
These increasing amount of “pity” projects wouldn’t be so bad if that was all there was, but of course there has to be more. Alongside these, there are finals. Blasted finals. They come in out of nowhere to ruin that GPA you’ve spent all semester building.
If that wasn’t bad enough, because of our projects, we don’t start studying until a day or two before our exams. “You only have to study for one to two hours a day,” our teachers say, but the math doesn’t lie. Seven exams times two hours of studying equals 14 hours. After working on our project, going to school, and other responsibilities, are we really supposed to study for 14 hours a day? When there aren’t even 14 hours left in the day, it’s ridiculous to expect students to study properly for exams without having to sacrifice another. Even with exemptions, the amount of AP and Dual credit classes that don’t allow exemptions are too great.
Let’s say you were able to exempt all three classes, good for you! That still adds up to eight hours a day, a little lower, but still an unrealistic amount of time.
Finals have become more about memorization than about actually understanding the concepts or ideas of a class. Anyone can memorize the dates of court cases with enough time and practice, but what we should be focusing on is application. Finals as 50+ question tests help no one. They only thing they are capable of doing is scaring students and giving teachers load of grading work to do over their holiday season.
Let’s say, hypothetically, finals were not about memorization, but instead used to help the students incorporate what they’ve learned. Have english classes write short stories and poems that emulate Shakespeare, government classes debate politics they’ve spent the year memorizing, and science classes making experiments to test a hypothesis!
I’m not saying finals should be easy, that’s not what they’re here for. Finals are used to test a student’s knowledge, but there is so much more to knowledge than simply spilling facts and dates.
Finals shouldn’t have to stress students out. They know the information, we just have to find better ways to show that we understand. Creativity shouldn’t die at the door of the school.