Should Finals Be Canceled Again?

Ryan Lee, Staff Writer

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the question arises once again: should finals be canceled? This is one of many questions asked by schools and universities as the rhythm of academic life has been disrupted by the pandemic. With the age of online learning sweeping the entire world by storm, many students are concerned not only for their safety but their performance on these crucial tests. Since this would be the second time the Ramsey School District decides to cancel finals for Ramsey High School, another question comes to mind: should finals even be considered, regardless of a pandemic or not?

There are multiple aspects that interpret the pros and cons of the final exam; a shared aspect among many students is that finals grant unwanted stress and anxiety. As a student, I agree with this and it is never comfortable to have stress and anxiety piling up towards the end of the school year. The end of the school year is supposed to be a time where students are able to finally relax and enjoy their final weeks before transitioning to the next grade or even taking on college. On top of this, final exams make up a large percentage of a student’s final grade, ranging from 10-20%. All of these factors culminate into a couple of tough weeks which no one can say is enjoyable. 

Yet, teachers have been administering this tormentor par excellence since the 20th century, and according to many scholarly individuals, there’s a good reason behind it. The whole objective behind hosting a final exam is to measure the competence of an individual on a specific subject. Now although this is a compelling argument, it seems a bit counterintuitive to depend a decent percentage of your final grade on a test being given in one class period. This essentially means that every time you study for a test, the reward of a good grade is not necessarily tangible. 

All in all, the necessity of the final is up to interpretation. When approaching the subject from a critical view, it does not seem like the final should even exist due to its substantial influence on a final grade. But in reality, top-tier colleges and even jobs administer difficult final examinations, and high school finals could prepare us for that. Regardless, I strongly believe that through perseverance and hard work, we can progress through life successfully without the use of finals.