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Pro/Con: Should Students be Required to Take Exams?

Pro/Con: Should Students be Required to Take Exams?

By Whitney Clements

Teachers and students are starting their preparation rush for the final exams. Teachers spend countless hours going over the same things trying to get each class ready for their exams. All this time is wasted on reviewing when it could be spent on actually teaching something entirely new. Students would be given the opportunity to expand their knowledge rather than completing review packets that have been done numerous times.

Although exams allow teachers to see the progress of their students at the end of the year, they are  still simply a waste of time. Students spend hours studying for a test that, for most people, brings down their grade unless they score an almost perfect grade.

Exams have such a wide variety of information to remember because they cover everything learned within that school year.  It is extremely hard to prepare for the exams because most students have more than one exam to take and the information starts running together.

Exams put a lot of weight on the shoulders of students. Their stress level goes way up towards the end of the year because they know exams are coming up. Multiple headaches and  late night sessions spent studying becomes a hassle. All this stress from studying and all the time spent seems to be useless afterwards. The final exams are pointless and hurt grades more than help students grades.

The attendance policy for the exams is even tougher on students. Students may obtain an “A” in a class, but since they missed more than eight days ,they have to take the exam. This is tough for many people, especially sports players who play out of town a lot or people who have a lot of health issues. Missing school does not mean that you have not retained the same information as everyone else. Especially when the students have the opportunity of make-up work to  bring  students up to speed.

I do not think we should have to take final exams because it brings about a lot of chaos into what are already stressful teenage lives . The end of year exams just put stress on both teachers and students that could easily be prevented. There is a lot of time that is wasted and students could do something more productive things in class rather than spending numerous class periods preparing for the exams.

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  • B

    Busola OlanrewajuJun 5, 2012 at 6:19 am

    The guidelines set for a student to be able to exempt their exam is appropriate enough for me I believe. The argument that the time spent on reviewing can be used to be teaching I think is sort of unrealistic because at that point the last thing students want to do is learn new topics. I think if you work hard during the school year you should be fine.

  • J

    Josh KentMay 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Student should not have to take their exams; as long as they have substantial evidence to prove that they comprehend the information in the class. That would be a B average or better. Other than that, I think students should have to take their exams. It’s simple kids who do not perform to standard should be penalized for not meeting the requirements. Exams, are a perfect way to do that but still give the student a chance to boost thier grade if they work hard.

  • T

    Tasia FaulconMay 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    If students are taking SOLs to access their knowledge in the class, why then are exams necessary? I understand if the students want, or need an extra grade to possibly boost their grades in a class, but I just do not see the necessity. Also, if you do not pass an SOL you have to take the exam, which makes no since. If you failed the SOL you will probably also fail the exam which are usally much harder than SOLs.

  • F

    Faven ButlerMay 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I do not think it is fair to have students take exams if they do not pass their SOLs. If they did not pass the SOL test, then obviously the class failed at teaching them the basics. Why should the students be punished by taking the exam when the teacher may have had more responsibility in the first place, especially if the majority of the class failed. The only reason I understand why students have to take exams is because of disciplinary actions. I like how the article provided the writer’s ideas on the subject.

  • K

    Kayla BishopMay 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I agree with this article very much i Think the downside of exams out ways the good yes it shows how much the students have learned and retained during the year but isnt that what test and quizzes are for? I think that taking exams put alot of added stress on students and it takes about a week or more of class time just to review for them when we could be learning new information. I think that the exam exeption policy should also be re-written why should you have to take the exam if you have a A in a class because you missed more than 8 days.

  • M

    Melissa TomlinMay 28, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I think that this article states a god argument, but I have to agree with a previous argument that final exams are necessary. I think they are needed because it prepares the students for college. though being exempted from final exams are great. I think that they should look into the problem with students that have A’s and too many absences and still have to take the exam situation. Taking the final exams can make or break your grade.

  • C

    Chloe AlexanderMay 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I think it is interesting how Whitney mention that some people, even if they have an ‘A’ in the class, they still have to take the final exams because of absences. This is a point I have thought of as well, because obviously the student did not need to be in class to prove that they knew their stuff. I feel that the fact that exams are such a stressful time for students (I agree) is a reflection upon the way the material was taught or learned. Most people, including myself, cram information and it is lost by the end of the year. If this method was changed then final exams would not be a problem. Kudos to Whitney for addressing this issue.

  • M

    Matthew SchneckMay 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    As much as I hate to say it, final exams are completely necessary in the high school environment. Even though they lower grades and seemingly waste much time, they are, much like the mission statement says, preparing us for future education. In college one will not be able to exempt finals. This article does a good job supporting the anti-exam feeling. It is good to see the TRN staff taking a stand on controversial issues in the school.

  • R

    Rachel PughMay 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    The article had many good points, especially on the absence policy regarding exams. If a person obtains an A for the year, there is no reason they should have to take an exam that would most likely lower their final grade, another interesting point of the article. Although I agree that most people should not have to take their exams, the article does not really elaborate on the pros of exams, such as college preparation.

  • J

    John ShumarMay 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    This article did a good job presenting sound arguments. With its author being a student-athlete, it also carries legitimacy. However, I think we should keep in mind that the exams will be present in college, so it is a good practice. Having attendance and grade requirements to exempt an exam is also an ingenious way to prevent students from skipping school and gives an incentive to work harder. A teacher’s livelihood depends on how their students perform in a class, which could explain the crazy rush to present the past year’s information. I do agree that this can be a waste of time, but there are those who benefit from it. Although I hate how exams also mean that you can’t take a day off, even when coming to school is pointless, I’ve seen exams deter a lot of fights. So in that case, I think it serves its purpose.

  • D

    De'Alva GlaspieMay 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I agree that final exams are hectic if anything on students’ mind. I feel like teachers feel just as much stress if not more than students. Not only do they have to figure out what they need to review on but when the time actually comes some may feel nervous because this basically tells people how well a teacher is actually teaching. Overall this article seemed to be well structured and hit the points well.

  • S

    Stephen BrockwellMay 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Final exams can be tough on students and teachers. With many students being given new assignments to have grades before the end of the year, there is hardly any time to review and study. This article does a good job of showing the problems with final exams, including the exemption policies.