Finals should be a greater percentage of the final grade

Elizabeth Valley, Staff Writer

Towards the end of the semester, a small boost in a student’s grade might be enough to change their B+ to an A-. When I’ve sat on the edge of a letter grade, I relied on my final to give me the extra points necessary to push my grade up a letter. However, there have been some classes where my final, only worth a small fraction of my grade, wouldn’t have done much to change my grade (that is, unless I failed the exam). A 100% on the test may not have even moved my grade up in the class by one point. This seems unfair to those students who study for hours for a final, hoping that it can give them the extra boost they need in their grade, only to do well and barely see their grade change.

A larger percentage for the final also encourages students to learn the information throughout the year, instead of memorizing the information for each test and then forgetting it after.”

— Elizabeth Valley

Because of the benefits of a larger final exam or project, a final test’s percentage should be 10-15% of the final grade. The final is then a larger part of the course, and a way to really gauge how much the students have learned throughout the semester. Not only would this provide the teachers a way to test their students in a more effective matter, the students may feel an incentive to prepare for the final more than if it were only 5% or less of the final grade. When I know that my final won’t have much effect on my grade, I will spend less time on it, even if there is a lot of valuable information that I could learn from it. A larger percentage for the final also encourages students to learn the information throughout the year, instead of memorizing the information for each test and then forgetting it after. Knowing that there will be a hefty final exam at the end of the semester, a student may focus more on understanding what they are learning, resulting in a deeper knowledge of the subject.

Although a large final exam may cause a student’s grade to drop if they don’t do well on it, more often than not, if a student has been learning the class’s information throughout the semester and puts a lot of time into studying for the final exam, they should be pleased with their results on the final.