The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Final exams are necessary for students

Photo courtesy of Curtis Hart-Southworth
WCHS Multivariable Calc students taking their final exam administered by UMD.

As high school becomes more competitive, the debate over the necessity of final exams in high schools rages on. Because MCPS got rid of final exams, however, many students now lack the skills to take exams — which will undoubtedly harm them in the future.

Final exams are a good way for students to measure the progress and retention they have gained in various courses. While there are many quizzes, tests and projects students have throughout the semester, final exams uniquely provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum and showcase the knowledge they have acquired throughout the course.

Transitioning from high school to college can feel like a giant leap into the unknown. Many students find themselves overwhelmed with class rigor, freedom and exams. Final exams offer high school students an idea of what lies ahead, allowing them to better prepare and grow their studying skills before graduating high school. By subjecting students to these trials now, they will be better equipped to handle the academic challenges awaiting them in college.

Moreover, final exams can help reduce grade inflation — an issue that has put MCPS in hot water. In an era where every student seems to be a straight-A scholar, it is easy to lose sight of what grades truly represent. Without standardized tests to measure accomplishments, grades simply become a way to show off without really proving what students know. It makes it hard for students to distinguish themselves from one another. In the digital era, students are able to cheat on assignments such as projects much easier. However, with final exams it tests what they really know, not just what they find on the internet. Final exams restore integrity to our academic transcripts, ensuring that our grades reflect genuine mastery of the material rather than inflated expectations.

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Furthermore, final exams help us learn important study skills. Preparing for big tests enables students to develop good habits for studying, manage their time well and think critically. Most of these skills do not just come from school and regular tests, but instead come from when students study for finals. These skills are not just useful in school – they are important for life outside of class too. When students tackle tough ideas, put information together and sharpen their thinking, they build a strong set of tools for their future, especially for college.

MCPS had exams up until 2016, when they were eliminated in order to give more space “for instructional time.” However, this is not a valid reason as final exams are only twice a year. Additionally, the main argument for being against final exams is the fact that these exams can cause unnecessary stress in students. Exams can indeed be stressful, but more importantly they also give students chances to learn and find out more about themselves.

Dealing with stress, handling problems and not giving up when things get tough are important skills that exams teach us. Learning to deal with these problems in high school surrounds students with a strong support system and allows students to reach out for help and learn to deal with these issues before they go to college, where their support may be more limited.

Bringing back exams to MCPS would be extremely beneficial for students and their futures. From their role in assessing academic proficiency to their contribution to personal growth and development, final exams are a key piece of the educational experience. As MCPS strives to prepare students for college and the workforce, they must recognize the imperative value that final exams offer.

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About the Contributor
Sneha David
Sneha David, Online Content Editor
Sneha David is a senior and the Online Content Manager of the Observer. In her free time she likes to hang out with her friends, watch Netflix and walk her dog. Her favorite singers are Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. This is her third year taking journalism.

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