Opinion: Final exams do more harm than good


Daniel Gonzalez-Arevalo, Reporter

The final month of the school year is a rollercoaster of emotions for many high school students. Some students are preparing to attend college, others are taking steps to apply to colleges and universities, and others are just looking forward to the summer vacation. However, one thing that is always in the back of many students minds is final exams. Despite teachers using exams as a way to assess what students have learned I personally believe, the negatives outweigh the positives. 

Students are always encouraged to try their best throughout the school year so that they do not get behind and can learn as much as possible. Students are constantly being given projects, weekly or biweekly tests, and other assignments that will assess their learning. Students being given another thing to worry about on top of all of the work and emotions they are currently going through does more harm than good. 

The format for final exams has long been the same for high school students. Most of the time it is just a regular test just weighted and slightly longer at times. Students are pressured to prepare for this test due to the impact it could have on their grade. Many students fear their grade dropping due to one bad score on a test which is unfair in many cases. Students that have consistently performed well in a class and have performed well on tests already know their material. According to imiq how smart some students are does not even play a part in their final grade, luck plays a major role in final exams and if a student gets sick or cannot concentrate well, they are more likely to not perform as well. 

Students also cannot be expected to fully reintegrate finals into their already busy and hectic schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has greatly affected students across the world and many students across the United States have barely  returned to school fully in person in the last six months. Students have still not gotten fully used to the process after such a long time without school, which will without a doubt have an impact on their final exam scores. 

In addition to the already negative effects of final exams due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of the outcome of these tests, the mental health of students is greatly affected. Young adults are already dealing with a lot of issues personally outside of school which includes preparing themselves for their future professions and what kinds of things they would like to pursue. Some teenagers can find themselves in a hole when balancing their possible jobs, sports and other advanced classes. The pressure to perform well on exams can cause unnecessary stress on the individual. According to StateNews some students are afraid of taking breaks, showering and eating as they feel like it is a waste of time and they should be studying instead. Pair this up with the anxiety of many students as the exam gets closer and closer and it turns into a recipe for disaster. Things like this build bad habits for students and can have a serious effect on their physical and mental health. 

Final exams are something that has become customary for many high school and college students but that does not mean that they need to remain the same. The process for evaluating how much students have learned has to change. Students already have taken many tests throughout the school year and if they have already performed well on previous exams, the chances of them passing the final exam are high. The mental health of many young adults is declining due in part to studying as a result of cramming and stress. Schools should continue to do whatever they can to make the process easier for their students as they already are used to giving their best effort every day for over nine months.