Fatal flaws of finals

Lariat Editorial Board

The end of the semester quickly approaches and with it come final examinations for classes all over the campus.

Late nights, energy drinks, study groups, hair loss, and chewed fingernails are just some of the fun things one can expect to experience while trying to prepare for the end-of-year, highly weighted tests.

This has become the norm for college students’ yearly schedule, but, the concept of the tests themselves is a wholly flawed and demoralizing one.

Many instructors base the entirety of their grading scale on just a midterm and final exam, leaving students in a panicked, stressed-out state from being forced to study for hours on end or risk failing the class.

How is it at all fair to judge a student’s overall abilities in a given subject by holding a semester’s worth of grade points over their heads in a two-hour window at the end of the class?

It’s entirely possible for 15 weeks of hard work and adamant studying to result in being a complete waste of time if a student should happen to not perform well in bubbling in their Scantron sheets or forgets a key part in an oral presentation.

It’s the equivalent in a football team losing in the Super Bowl and everyone considering the entire season, which precluded it, an utter failure because the finale didn’t turn out as well as expected.

For some, these tests mean the difference between being able to transfer on time and taking the class over again. If someone were to get a low grade on the final in a class that they’re struggling in, it can put their life plans on hold for another four months or more.

This is a fine way to sway students toward dropping out of school entirely. It shows them that all the hard work and good intentions in the world mean nothing at all if the final grade reads lower than a C.

College is supposed to prepare students for the real world, the one beyond the structures of nine-page essays on existentialism in the French Revolution or speeches on how to get more calcium in one’s diet.

Yet, how is their readiness tested? By mothing more then huge point values crammed into a single class session.

One’s entire worth cannot possibly be summed up by how well they perform in an arbitrary exam on the most stressful week of the semester.

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