Finals week is approaching its end quickly, and the third term of the first semester has flown by. Students are preparing themselves in all sorts of ways, such as studying intensely, completing review sheets, and making study guides for their various classes. Teachers have opened their classrooms for extra study time and help, and administration has posted the finals schedule. But all these events leading up to finals beg the question- is there a better way the education system could go about finals?
As of right now at Sandia, teachers aren’t required to make a review for their students. Earlier in the week, Mr. Stevenson asked his students “give me a reason to give you a study guide”; what should really be asked is, why wouldn’t teachers give their student a guide? If students don’t know what will be on the final review, it will be especially difficult for them to prepare and get a good grade. Study guides aren’t required but final exams are, which is a system that ultimately inconveniences students. For the SAT and ACT, students are thoroughly encouraged to do practice tests and use study guides to improve their score, but some teachers at Sandia can’t even bother to help their students on the final. By not requiring study guides to be given for finals, administration has failed students and enabled teachers to put them at a disadvantage.
During the entire semester, students must work to keep their grade up in anticipation for the final exam, because they all know that the final can make or break a semester grade. The way the system is set up, low grades on finals will tank a student’s grade, while high ones will never drastically change it. Finals are worth 15-20% of a student’s grade, but it doesn’t ever seem to split between good grades and bad grades evenly; Sandia High junior Theodore Reynolds states , “I’ve had a really solid grade on a final and it barely raises my grade, which is pretty infuriating, the fact that you have to over-perform just to stay where you’re at.” There must be a better way for finals grades to work out into semester grades.
The current system of cramming seven finals into only four days is stressful and difficult for students. Usually, teachers have tests spread out over different weeks, but when it comes to finals, students must go from test to test until the end of the week, causing unnecessary pressure. The process of having one week of final review and then continuous exams is stressful not only for students but for teachers as well.
These are only few of the problems that we face as finals week approaches; administration and teachers should work together to fix the broken system that we call finals, perhaps by spreading finals out over a longer period of time, providing more resources for exams and examining the flawed percentage system that goes into semester grades.