The truth about finals

The truth about finals

jaydn hollis

With the year coming to an end, finals are near and the vigorous studying begins. Before and during finals week, freshman Jade Brady says she can’t wrap her mind around anything except her exams.
“On the bus ride to school I was freaking out. I just told myself to take a deep breath and that I would be fine and I would just get through the day,” said Brady who is in the middle of what she calls her first year of real finals. “I just wanted to do well on it because they’re a big part of your grade.”
With second semester finals just around the corner, Brady now knows what to expect and is prepared.
Every semester finals are the time consuming and dreaded assessment students have to take to portray their knowledge gained over the course of the year. Shawn Beatty, a foreign language teacher, lets his students choose what they do for their final at the end of every semester. Beatty thinks having his students do written exams is not realistic. Beatty has his students show him what they can can do and what they have learned in their own creative way.
“If you’re taking a class on how to write a paper, then, yes, a written exam is helpful and relevant, but a test just for test take, no,” Beatty said.
Beatty believes by far finals are the hardest thing he assigns in his course because the students get to create it.
“Creation is where most of the learning happens,” Beatty said, “and if it sucks, they chose it, and it’s hard because it’s realistic.”
Senior Devin Bereeden said he has experienced all kinds of finals, such as projects, written exams and essays.  Bereeden has taken finals every year, twice a year for four years and is more than happy to be finished with the process.
“Finals are a way to assess seniors and what they’ve learned,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the best way, but it is a way. The best way to evaluate students is to test them individually but that would be extremely time consuming.”
Freshman, Seth Hodder agrees with Bereeden that finals could be assigned in a better way.
Hodder has experienced finals from last semester and a little from middle school but thinks they’re only purposeful in certain ways. During Hodder’s eighth grade year, he was shocked when his teachers said he was going to have to take finals for his core classes. Having never taken a final before, he was petrified. Hodder spent hours of studying and making sure he was prepared.  To his surprise, most of his tests were incredibly easy. He thought kindergarteners could pass them.
“If I’m taking a test for just the teacher’s sake, then, yes, I think it’s just pointless,” Hodder said. “If you think the class you are taking is purposeful, then, yes, the final will be purposeful for you.”
He thinks students wouldn’t necessarily try as hard as they do now if there was no final because normally they’re 25 percent of students grades.
“Finals test if you actually learn what you need to know in that class,” Hodder said. “Partially I think teachers have finals because of tradition, but I’m sure most of them justify and genuinely believe that finals will test their students knowledge over the course of two semesters.”
What do you think about finals? Leave your comments below!