Finals create unneccessary stress

Joseph Mousaed

Every semester, students spend time working hard to get a high grade, only to realize that they have to pass the final exam in order to keep it.

Final exams cause students unnecessary stress to review all of the information covered throughout the semester. Finals seem like they are worth half the grade in a class and that can be scary for a student.

In a survey published in February by the American Psychological Association, more than half of students feel that they have unmanageable stress during the school year.

This stress comes from all the tasks that are supposed to be done through out the year in such a short amount of time. This makes a student either study practically all day, procrastinate, or just not do the work.

“I’d rather not have finals because they cause a lot of stress,” sophomore Nelly Nazarian said. “Final exams are scary because they can bring down my grade a lot if I do not do well.”

However, some students believe that final exams are helpful.

“They are needed to review the material throughout the semester,” junior Alessandra Silva explained. “Finals also help me boost my grade if I am close to a good grade. Finals are challenging and I like a challenge.”

Final exams can be helpful in the right context as Silva explained, but there are better ways to review the information learned throughout the semester.

Final projects that require the skills learned in the class to be completed could be helpful. They can be a challenge, boost students’ grades and review the information covered in the class.

Another problem I have with final exams is that some are weighted heavily on the grade scale. Last year, I had a final worth more than 10 percent of my grade. That meant that if I got sick, had a bad testing day, or was otherwise not at my best, I could drop down a letter grade.

These exams are worth ridiculous amounts of points and as a student, that freaks me out. I have to study weeks prior to finals just to keep my grades where I want them to be.

According to a Stanford University survey conducted this year of select high-performing California schools, students study for at least nine hours excluding the time needed for projects and extracurricular activities in order to do well in school.

There are other ways of testing how well the students know the material. One way is to have each student present two tests, essays, or projects done at different times during the semester and contrast the differences orally to the class.
New unique finals should be experimented with and implemented to fix stress problems while providing a better way to review class material.

As the end of the year approaches and students are finishing up semester-long projects and with winter break close by, finals are looming in the back of students’ minds waiting to find that perfect moment to overwhelm us.