Are finals worth all the stress and frustration?

By Amanda Brooks

High-schoolers hear that finals make or break their grades all the time. In the case of students who are doing well, that statement doesn’t really bother them. However, students who are on the edge of a letter grade, freak out. The problem with finals is that there are so many tests to study for in a short amount of time. This really stresses students out because they have to remember every little detail from the semester and they have to do that for multiple classes.

“The final exam policy was a school wide decision, and it’s been the same since I’ve been here,” Assistant Principal Shelly Kish said. 

All students are required to take finals at the end of each semester. Seniors are the only exception. Seniors don’t have to take finals second semester if they have a 70% or higher in their classes and if they only have five excused absences by parents. Why are seniors the only exception? 

“It’s our congratulations for getting through four years of high school,” Kish said.

70% in a class is average. Not one student in Huntley High School is average. Each kid is unique in their own way. This got me thinking, every student should have an incentive to get out of finals. 

Students grades have been falling severely in the past few years, if students were able to work towards a goal, I feel like grades would improve. Here’s my proposition, if any student, from any grade, has higher than a 90%, they shouldn’t have to take a final.

Students with an A in any class, clearly understand their material. Yet at the end of each semester, they struggle to study for their tests because they are cramped for time. Why do students have to re-show what they clearly already know at the end of the semester, It doesn’t make sense. 

However, being exempt from finals has its negatives. 

“Finals help prepare you for college. If students don’t take a final in high school, they won’t know what to expect in college,” Kish said. 

This is a fair point and is worth discussing. Finals do help prepare students for college, but at the same time, they are just stressful time fillers for people who are overachieving expectations. 

I believe if there is a common goal for all students, that being to get out of finals, students will try harder in school and grades will severely increase.