Are finals really necessary?

Are finals really necessary?

Bella Taylor, Student Life/News

Every high school student knows the dreaded time of the year called finals week. With the crazy all-nighters used for studying, and rushing to get those final grades in before the semester ends at midnight, this week is a genuinely stressful time for any student, but are they truly necessary? 

The joy that comes along with the end of school or the fall semester, is overpowered by stress because of finals. The stress of having to get a passing score in order to maintain an acceptable grade can break down a student mentally. This stress can lead to feeling a loss of control, aggression, sadness, fatigue or exhaustion, and concentration issues or memory loss. If the stress continues, it can lead to further mental issues such as depression and/or anxiety. The loss of concentration and/or memory can lead to feeling worthless because they could not remember the material of the final. This can completely destroy a student’s self-esteem and affect them long-term.

Many people will argue that students should memorize the material over the semester and show what they have learned, that’s what finals are used for. That is important, but many students often know what career they want to pursue, so when a student reaches 11th or 12th grade, they can go into classes that teach them skills in the career they choose to pursue, rather than learning and memorizing materials that are useless to them in the long run. Learning materials that the student is most interested in will motivate them to actually learn and memorize the course. When a student has so many courses that don’t interest them, it causes them to learn enough material to pass the tests in a class without fully grasping the entire content. Alternatively, 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 students’ finals.

My final thoughts would be that finals are a bother to high school students. High school should be an opportunity to venture into courses that interest them, and to see how well they did throughout the semester rather than a huge final exam that gets their grade up only 10% or higher. Finals are an unnecessary part of high school that just brings stress only to get bumped up a tiny bit.