Finals: Pros and Cons


Every year, students attend school and classes to help prepare themselves for their final exams. Most, but not all, classes have a final that all students must take. Even mentioning finals will strike fear into the hearts of many high schoolers. However, could it be possible that finals benefit students as well as scare them?

We know that finals happen every year, but do we know why? Mrs. Wilsox shed some light on why she gives a Spanish final. “I like to give a final to see what a student has learned and retained over the year. There will be those students who retain most everything without any effort, but most students will need to develop study habits so they can retain information in long-term memory.” Finals are meant to gauge where students are and how much they have learned over the course of the class. Finals are not meant to be horrifying and stress-inducing, even though they may seem that way. Mr. Butler, one of the LHS math teachers, stated that finals also give high school students a taste of the real world. Part of being in the workplace is being able to identify problems and come up with solutions. That is the essence of what finals are. 

One of the benefits of finals is that they force students to remember or review what they have learned in their classes thus far. Finals are a constant reminder throughout the year that students can’t forget what they have learned. Finals loom over students as a huge portion of their grades, and the outcome of finals could determine whether they pass or fail the class. Finals cause many students to experience a lot of stress. Additional time has to be funneled into studying to make sure that students can take their finals with confidence. 

To be clear, stress from finals doesn’t just affect students. Teachers also experience stress, just not the same kind. For students, finals means studying and taking a test. For teachers, finals mean creating an all-encompassing test, grading countless papers, and seeing if your teaching has been effective. Ultimately, finals grade the teachers just as much as they grade the students. 

Mr. Butler is notorious for giving a very difficult math final here at the LHS. Mr. Butler’s final had to change with this year’s new schedule. In past years, his entire final took two 90-minute class periods to complete. This year, Mr. Butler had to divide his final into a smaller midterm and final, which both take two 45-minute class periods. When asked what benefits he thought this change may bring, Mr. Butler said, “Well, you’re not forced to remember something from six or seven months ago. . . The truth of the matter is, it’s still material that you need to know, and once you’ve taken the class you’re held accountable.” How this year’s schedule change has affected finals has yet to be seen. Hopefully, the changes will be positive and benefit the LHS students and staff.