CON

Finals are a burden that most students dread toward the end of the semester. They compile all the information that students have learned over the semester into one massive exam, which is not only unnecessary but stress-inducing.

Finals also tend to do very little for a student’s overall grade in a class. In fact, most of the time a final will either hurt a student’s grade or keep it the same. In order for a student to raise their grade by one or two percent, they must get a 100 percent or higher which is daunting and often impossible for most students.

Most believe finals should be optional. The structure would follow along these lines: If a student has a 90 percent or higher in a class they can choose whether or not to take the exam. If you have a 90 percent in a class, taking a final can be risky, due to the significant possibility of your grade dropping to a B, which is why the idea of students choosing to the exam seems logical.

But even though final exams may seem like a stress-inducing overflow of information, allowing students the choice of taking the final exam might make Clayton’s educational environment more competitive and unfair.

While final exams may seem like a burdensome waste of students’ time, there are a number of benefits to taking a final exam.

One of the main reasons public school districts, such as Clayton, require students to take final exams is to assess their ability to study and retain information.

A final exam teaches students to study for extended periods of time and apply or break study habits they have acquired over the course of their high school career. If a student does not take the final exam, they are missing out on a unique learning opportunity that will benefit them in the future.

Final exams are also very good preparation for the rigorous AP courses that are offered at Clayton High School. An AP exam, unlike a regular final exam, contains all the information students have learned over the course of the year, as opposed to just a semester.

The exams usually take most students about two to three hours to complete and are extremely difficult due to their cumulative nature. However, taking final exams as a freshman or sophomore can prepare you for the intensity of an AP exam.

Final exams prepare students for the difficult task of sitting still and testing for an extended period of time. They also help students with time management skills, which are essential in AP classes. Towards the weeks leading up to an AP exam, a student must begin to plan out the time they will spend studying for each individual class. This will allow students more time on subjects sections they struggle with while simply reviewing subjects they have a good grade in.

Ultimately, students will need to be able to be skilled at high-stakes testing as they continue in their academic careers. From the ACT to college finals, to maybe even someday having to sit for board or bar examinations, the future will be full of these decisive tests and we need to prepare Clayton students for them.