Finals may be stressful, but they are still important

As the semester comes to a close, students prepare for the dreaded finals week. Students rush to study for their classes while teachers hand out review packets and study guides, watching students cram every small concept from the past six months into their heads. They are especially overwhelming for upperclassmen enrolled in AP and honors classes.

studying for finals
Upperclassmen preparing for their science finals at Canyon Hills
(Ben Bekkerman)

“Finals are no joke. In a couple of weeks, our teachers expect us to memorize information from the past five months. Each test is worth a huge chunk of our grades, so that makes it even more stressful,” stated sophomore Aidan Stone.

Some say that finals are obsolete and put pressure on students. This has led many to push for their abolition. However, finals are necessary because they prepare students for the real world and give them a complete understanding of the material that they’ve learned.

It is common for students to cram every detail for finals, putting heavy pressure on their brains. Although this leads to feelings of anxiety, frustration, and fatigue, it still gives students a feel for the future. In college and throughout life, there will be demanding situations that require perseverance and focus. Finals prepare students for challenges that they will eventually face.

Furthermore, finals are the most effective way for students to retain information. Compared to unit tests (a proposed alternative), finals are much better. They encourage students to interact with more course material and leave prolonged memory of school subjects.  

Students don’t like cumulative exams for the very reason they ought to be used: preparing for them requires more time and energy devoted to understanding and remembering course content.

“I’m not a fan of finals, but I understand why they’re necessary,” said Junior Xaelyn Nash. “While the preparation is stressful, finals boost my confidence and help me remember important material throughout the semester. They really are beneficial.”

Finals also help students develop essential skills such as time management. Students are given two weeks to study for several finals, so prioritizing activities is especially important. 

Not to mention, it teaches test takers to work under pressure which will be very useful in the future, when met with harsh deadlines and/or decisions.

Finals have been a tradition at Canyon Hills since opening, and it’s imperative they stay with the valuable life lessons they provide . Although some find the exams nerve-racking and difficult, they are implemented for a reason; they enable students to review previous material, show their progress and give them a chance to improve their grades.