Finals: Relevant or Detrimental?

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Summer Boling

With the end of the semester around the corner, many students are panicking about finals. Finals are often regarded as a “clean assessment of what a student knows”, however the common process used for finals fails to recognize the variety of learning types and their boundaries.

Finals tend to cater to students who learn through a method based practice, whereas everything is often chronological and based solely on memorization. While this is a common mindset, it isn’t the majority. There are mounds of students who cannot simply memorize a concept.

The same criticism has been given to basic standardized tests, as they’re also based on memorization alone. This leads to things such as “Test anxiety” or “Blanking out”. People seldom work the same, this is already respected in the workplace, as not every job functions on the same wavelength. To demand that every student fit the same narrow depiction of “intelligence” is to completely deny the humanity of them.

In short, current testing makes the student comparable to a computer; a lifeless machine with no rhyme or reason. Finals have never measured what a person knows, or what their capable of. Instead, they assess how well a student can compute, how quickly can the spurt up answers without knowing what they mean, or why they exist as they are.

Finals are not a proper assessment, they do not reflect what a student knows about the course, they only showcase those who can memorize without understanding.