Opinion: Should you be able to be exempt from any course final if you have earned an A- or above?

Cam Hudnall '23, Contributing Writer

In past years, students who had an overall year average of an A- or better in a class were able to be exempt from that class’s final exam. This has been a great way to encourage students to pay more attention in lessons, and strive to work hard, and get good grades so that they don’t have to feel the pressure of taking the final exam. Currently, several WHS departments require all students to take the final exam regardless of their final grades.

On the flip side, some educators and peers have strong views that every student should take both the midterm AND final exams because, in college, grades will almost entirely be based on big exams. In order to prepare for these future exams, high schools have implemented their own midterms and finals to prepare students. So is giving students the option of exemption from their final exam keeping them from gaining effective studying tactics and strategies when they need to do them in college?

The answer is no, as students will still take at least one big test during the year, the midterm exams. While I do believe that the finals are very helpful and can prepare students for college, I do not think that one test should determine 10-20% of a whole year grade.  Students already are required to take the midterm exams, which means that they should be able to be exempted from the final exam as a reward for their good work. Having the final exam at the very end of the year is also hard because if someone does very poorly, they will not have time to do any extra credit or work extra hard on their assignments to make up for it. The final exam can make or break a student’s grade in the mere two hours the test is administered.

I also believe that students who have an A- or better in the course should be able to be exempt from the final. If a student has that good of a grade in the class then they should not need to “prove” their knowledge in the course.