Better alternatives to the standard final

Jessica Johnson

As the semester comes to a close, we all look forward to summer break. There is only that one barrier that we all have to get through: final exams.

Do we really need a whole week devoted to making our lives miserable? Do we need them at all?

Final exam week could be put to much better use. I mean, what would you do with another week of summer? That is another week of working with no time restrictions and making more money, not having to study, hanging out with friends or sleeping in and staying up late.

Instead of a whole extra week for finals, the last day of class could be used.

No one would have to worry about where their exam is going to be, if it is going to interfere with their work schedule or that they are going to completely forget and not show up at all. Everybody would know that tests were coming and where they had to be at what time.

Having all the finals at a different time on a different day than the normal class is just confusing. Besides, one extra day of instruction isn’t going to make much of a difference. If you do not know the skills by the end of the semester, you probably won’t know them in one day.

Another solution or substitute for finals week is that we could just have final projects that are due the last day of class. They could be projects that showcase what we have learned. In design classes, they could be an essay answering questions given out earlier in the semester or they could be a class presentation focusing on a topic covered during the semester.

What we don’t need is a final project due the last day of class and a final test. The final project assesses our skills and knowledge and so does a test. There is no need for two evaluations. One or the other is plenty.

Finals week is a thing of the past. Students are ready to move on and make better use of their time. Taking finals week away all together would save time and save students money.

They would not have to request time off of work and they wouldn’t have to drive to campus for two hours of class that could have been avoided in the
first place.