The fate of final exams


Connor LeBeau

Brian Cummins feels the stress of final exams.

In the recent world we’ve been living in, so much unfamiliarity and doubt have been prominent in the lives of everyone, especially students. Here at LWC, the past year and a half of school has been one of the most uncertain things most of us high schoolers have experienced. One question that was extremely prominent last year was the question of, “Will we have finals this year?”

In 2020, LWC students were exempt from finals in most classes, and that played a huge role in students mental health, stress levels, and overall happiness. In interviews with Cormac Gill and Emma Olson, the effects of the exemption of finals and the approach on how to take finals this year were addressed. Junior Cormac Gill said in our interview: “Finals were stressful and felt pointless freshman year.” Gill included, “This year, I think with my class load and AP tests, I should be exempt like last year.”

There is a clear, negative opinion on finals this year because of the class load that many juniors are dealing with and the feeling of pointlessness over memorization, compared to actual learning for application in real-world situations, as opposed to objective or standardized tests. In my interview with junior Emma Olson, she said, “I don’t mind finals as much as some students, but I think that the added stress and preparation, especially with the SAT this year, that finals will be difficult to manage, and it was easier in a year like the last, without finals.”

In both interviews, it seems that at least from the student perspective, finals only add negative emotions to students already stressful lives, compared to anything beneficial. Even faculty and administrators at schools have realized the potentially negative effects finals have had on students after seeing what a year exempting students was like. A committee of administrators has been put together to review the impact and importance of finals. The committee recently announced, “It has been decided that while the Advisory Team will still investigate and discuss the topic of Final Exams, NO changes, if any, to the current final exam schedule would be implemented until the 2022-23 school year…additionally, while the Advisory Team researches and investigates the topic this school year, surveys will be provided to teachers in order for everyone to be able to share their perspectives, thoughts, and concerns.” 

All in all, it seems that since the last year and a half has been so wild in terms of schooling and education, that finals have become a big question in the eyes of everyone in the school.