Seniors argue they shouldn’t have to take finals exams


Ellie Haase, Social Media Editor

“Final exams are unnecessary added stress for seniors who have already met the graduation requirements,” said senior Sean Mason. 

Every year, like clockwork, there is often a debate among seniors and teachers as the year comes to an end about whether or not they should have to take the final exam. 

Rebecca Layton, the Women’s Studies, Psychology, and Sociology teacher at Loy Norrix, has been hearing complaints from seniors about not having adequate time to prepare for the exam since they are still focusing on classwork to complete. She listened to her students’ concerns and decided it made sense to not give her seniors classwork the last 2-3 weeks so they can focus on their final project. 

Sometimes when a class isn’t an all-senior class, the teachers may not keep the seniors informed on their expectations. Layton makes her expectations very clear. “My students all have a project that counts as their final that was posted the second week of class.” 

Layton posts the project very early on so the students can plan ahead and know what needs to be completed early.  

Mason credits teachers for trying to prepare students for the final exam but still feels as though he will be going into his finals unprepared. 

Neighboring school, Portage Northern, is excusing all students from exams. They figured since there were so many things happening out of their control, they changed one of the things they did have control over. Even though exams will not be a requirement this year, they are still giving students who are failing a class an opportunity to have a day with the teacher to do some sort of assignment to demonstrate their understanding of the material to earn credit for that class. This change was due to the pandemic, but who knows what will stick in the upcoming school years. 

Although it is nice that seniors get out a couple of weeks early, it’s not so nice when they get told they have to take the exam early without that needed preparation.

Jay Peterson, a Loy Norrix social studies teacher said, “I feel that if a senior is in a class that is not senior-specific, they should not have to take a final exam in that they have not been taught all the content necessary for the final.”

Teachers all have different viewpoints on exams. Some teachers will take off the material that hasn’t been covered yet by the time the seniors have to take the final. Therefore, students can still take the assessment without it being unfair. 

Besides not having enough preparation, seniors also have a lot on their plate. At the end of the year, there are many events such as prom, graduation, and several award ceremonies. Although they already applied to college earlier in the year, they now have to accept which school they are going to and follow up with any extra documents they need and sign up for various orientations. That is all really important stuff, and it can be difficult to figure it out on your own while trying to balance exams. 

Senior Kamryn Kimbrough thinks seniors shouldn’t be required to take exams because “we have so much going on with the end of high school events and preparing for freshman year of college.” 

Exams can seem like a waste of time but Layton believes that final exams can also “be a chance to show off a bit before you leave and prove how awesome you have done in your KPS career.”