Getting rid of exams was beneficial for MCPS


Here is a map of Maryland outlining each of its school districts. The Montgomery County district is highlighted in red; all of the other districts administer semester exams annually. Photo credit to Wikipedia Commons

John Leonardo, Staff Writer

Three years ago, a glorious decision was made for the overall benefit of the Montgomery County students: High school exams were eliminated. Whichever godsent executive in the MoCo community who was working at the time should be praised and celebrated. The decision has proved overall beneficial and logical for the time being.

Some may argue that the riddance of semester exams drastically hinders one’s success and work ethic in college. However, college and high school are simply nothing alike. Sure they both have rigorous classes with much-needed study time, but the way these classes are carried out and the subjects taught are much different. For one, in college, you’re actually learning about what you want to do in life. You’re not wasting your time studying some random subject during your precious free time like in high school. In college, you can choose the classes that you want to take and in turn have a natural motivation to learn and understand what you’re being taught. This makes exams much easier to handle since the learning isn’t forced. Think about it, who would study and perform better on an exam: a future architect taking a required high-school class on biology, or a future architect taking a studio class on design? The answer is plain and simple: High school exams are not a necessity seeing as they have low similarity and importance compared to the exams in college.

High school exams never even helped kids learn or retain information better anyways. Almost every student would cram in studying at the very last minute for pretty much every classes’ exam. This not only put enormous stress on the students who deserved a break at the end of the semester, but also wasted time and energy of the staff who had to distribute, regulate, and grade such tests. The students also almost immediately forget all the knowledge gained from studying right after taking the exams. The whole process was pointless because all it ended up doing was stressing the kids out while preventing them from genuinely learning the material.

The exams also made it much harder to earn well-worked-for semester grades. Seeing as how colleges mainly look at our semester grades for each year, it is crucial to make sure these grades are of the best of our abilities and are not hindered in any way. Say a student got an ‘A’ for a class in their first quarter and a high ‘B’ in the second quarter. If this student unluckily earned a ‘B’ for their final exam, they would receive a ‘B’ for their semester grade. It seems pretty unfair for a student to work diligently for two whole quarters only for their hopes to get a ‘A’ for the semester to be crushed by a two-hour test.

Montgomery County made the right move by removing high school exams. Although our students everywhere in the county reap the benefits, many in other surrounding areas still suffer.