The Value of Exams

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A couple of years ago the unimaginable became reality for VHS students. The high school got rid of midterms and finals. For the average high school student, this was a huge sigh of relief because that stress is thrown out the window. However, what the average high school student doesn’t realize now is how much not having midterms or finals may affect how well we do in college.

In college, there are no “fluffy” grades put into Genesis in order to make our overall grade better in the class. There’s only exams, projects, and finals. For students at most high schools, they will know how to study for these exams and they will thrive. But VHS graduates may struggle more than others. This is because we are not use to having to study large amounts of material for one test. Although we have the option to take AP tests many students, particularly seniors who are the closest to actually going to college, do not study to their full capability for AP exams because the grade doesn’t count for their end of the year grade in that course.

2018 VHS graduate Cameron Fuentez, stated that, “Honestly I really wasn’t prepared for the midterms and finals that were thrown at me; I didn’t know how to study that amount of material just for one test.”  Cam’s opinion echoes that of many recent former VHS’ers. 

Midterms and finals help students create self-discipline. Student must discipline themselves to ignore the tempting summons to procrastination and devote hours to focused study for one large exam.  This might be the single most important college skill. 

Additionally, finals give the student and the parents an accurate assessment of the student’s academic performance for that  year and the teacher an instrument for judging their success during the previous year. If most of their students did well, they can be satisfied with a job well done.

But most important, in a school whose graduates go on to a four-year college experience at a rate well above 90 percent:  is sending them there with no experience studying for a set of exams in every class the best preparation?

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