Finals season approaches. As students enter the final weeks of the quarter, they begin to prepare for the most loved, yet most hated time of each quarter.
To victoriously reach the land of spring break, students must slay the beast of the finals. They’ll collect their supplies for battle: a sharpened No. 2 pencil; a crisp, blank Scantron form; a rubbery, bright pink eraser; and a mind full of knowledge, stress and a deep resolution to at least pass the class.
It seems that at least half of all courses offered contain some form of a final test, offered during finals week, which can constitute often more than 30 percent of a student’s grade.
Professors often deem these tests as the best method to test cumulative student knowledge; however, students aren’t so sure these tests are a viable solution or an accurate reflection of student learning and growth.
Student Sandy Hyslop, biology major at Pierce College Puyallup, doesn’t support the use of finals.
“I hate finals,” Hyslop said. “I don’t think that they’re an appropriate judge of your knowledge.”
Student Rebecca Hanson, who experienced college finals for the first time in fall quarter, agrees.
“I don’t like finals—they’re stressful,” Hanson said. “It’s not that good of a way for teachers to review what we’ve learned. I understand it, but I don’t like it.”
Hyslop and Hanson aren’t criticizing the use of finals because they don’t want to work or study but instead because of their dislike of the institution and strong weight of finals in students’ overall grades.
The balance of grading with finals does seem skewed. A failed final that is worth 30 percent of the final class grade can easily drop students’ grades an entire letter grade, which greatly distorts the students’ general effort in the class.
Though one final that tests general, cumulative information is passable, many full-time community college students have trouble balancing work, family and studying for three or more intensive finals.
Finals should either be the only method of testing in the course or be eradicated, as testing students twice on information is redundant and seems to serve no educational purpose.
I’ll take my turn as a gallant knight, charging on through treacherous tests and horrible homework to reach the final destination, the final battle.
Is the final battle worth fighting, or is the journey of learning the only experience of importance?
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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