Final exams are necessary for student achievement


Zoey Becker, Online Opinion Editor

Montgomery County, one of the most populated counties in Maryland, has made a controversial decision regarding final exams that affects all of the students in its over 200 schools. Over the summer, it was the Board of Education decided to remove all MCPS final exams in middle school courses. The reasons behind the decision were to increase instructional time and relieve the students of the testing burden. Additionally, MCPS has developed a plan to eliminate second semester exams for classes that take the PARCC and High School Assessment (HSA) beginning this year, and eliminate semester exams entirely for the 2016-2017 school year. While most students in Montgomery County are ecstatic about this change, not all share the joy of their peers.

There are many foreseeable problems, and likely some unforeseen problems, that come with eliminating final exams. The biggest problem is that in college, there are final exams. While all MCPS high school students now know how to study for the finals, what will happen in a few years when the graduating senior class has never taken a final exam before? How will they adjust to taking a cumulative exam at the end of the semester in college? That it will prove difficult, especially since MCPS is one of the few in the country to not have finals. 

Also, students will not have the option to save their final grade with the exam. Usually, if a student doesn’t get a good grade during the school year, they can save their grade by getting a good score on their final exam. With MCPS’s new plan, this option is taken away.

Additionally, the purpose of final exams is to measure how much a student has learned in a few months of a course. There really is no other way as efficient as final exams to test if teachers are doing a good job of teaching the material and if students are learning it.  Finals are a good thing in the long run and we are better off with them, even if taking away these exams may relieve a burden on students.