By Michael Yang
Many schools have recently decided to move away from heavily weighted finals, citing the stress which it causes students, as well as the push for a more holistic approach to learning. Despite these reasons, however, finals remain an important tool in determining a student’s understanding of a subject.
Although finals that encompass an unreasonably large portion of one’s grade are unnecessary, having a final test is important for preparing students for the real world. Many of the other categories of one’s class, such as participation or homework, are not accurate indicators of one’s understanding of the subject, which is what a grade should represent. Not only do finals force students to review material from throughout the semester, they also serve as one of the most accurate metrics of measurement for assessing a student’s proficiency in the subject. It can potentially raise his or her grade.
Although having a final which is worth 60% of one’s grade is ridiculous, finals are important in allowing students to review, as well as accurately test students’ understanding of the subject. Thus, finals should be used not as one’s entire grade, but as a reasonable portion.