Exaggerated and Overrated

You’ve busted your tail all semester, turning in 8 page research papers and pulling all nighters to receive an A, plus the four 50 point in class tests your professor decided to assign, not including the final exam, all for what? Just so that your teacher can assign a final that is worth 85 percent of your grade.

Making all the hard work and long study hours worth nothing at all, if you receive a less than satisfactory grade on the final exam. While making it easy for those that slacked off and had the occasional slip up during the semester, to complete the class with a passing grade so long as they study for the exam.

Finals are highly exaggerated and overrated. Students prove their knowledge of course material throughout the entire semester by completing midterm tests, doing homework assignments, and taking pop quizzes. There is no need to base the majority, if not entire course, on one single test at the end of the semester by making the final worth 200 points or more.

In most college courses, professors will give a test after every four or five chapters and, even assign projects or papers in between. All of this is an assessment to decide if the student is properly meeting the student outcomes of the course. Learning is more important than passing one test that is given at the end of the semester.

The overly exaggerated worth of finals also puts added stress and pressure on students. Often time’s, students become sick right before their finals, because of stress weakening their immune systems. Students become stressed because they have to study extremely hard in order to pass classes, due to the make or break final test points.

According to the Yale daily news.com, final exams worth over 50 percent of a student’s grade greatly increases student stress levels. Yale University has changed their guidelines for finals, setting a cap on exam weights at no more than 50 percent of the student’s overall grade, to help lower students stress levels.

It’s easier for student to have all tests including the final exam be worth the same amount of points. This way, there is no need to stress and panic over one out of four tests taken in the class, just because one test has a significantly higher weight value than the others. I think if Pierce were to adopt similar guidelines for final exams, this would help improve student success on campus greatly.