Do finals really test our knowledge or are they just stressful?


The Catalyst / Molly Phan

Students in homeroom are stressed when studying for their upcoming final exams.

This year, traditional final exams are back. Last year’s finals were somewhat different for most students, because they were online. Being able to test in a private place at home was in many ways a challenge for students. However, NDB is now back to the original final exam ways where students are required to come to school to take exams in classrooms with their peers.

As most seniors and juniors remember, traditional final exams mean days of back to back tests. Most of the time, students have two tests per day with a lunch break in between. Depending on the class, some tests may be substituted with projects. If this is the case, then coming into school is not necessary.

Final exams are the epitome of most high schoolers’ stress. It is the time of the year where you have to think back to everything you learned throughout the past semester because you will be tested on it all, once again.

But do final exams really help our understanding of concepts taught through the semester and test our knowledge? Or are they just stressful and deprive us all of sleep and affect our wellbeing?

Many students at NDB agree that final exams are more hurtful than helpful.

“Finals are not helpful. I don’t think they are helpful because to study for finals we have to just cram in all the information throughout the year and it’s really not helpful,” Junior Athena Carvallo said.

“I think that finals are necessary for some subjects, like math and science, but projects are much more helpful and help me understand the material taught in class better. They offer a wider range of topics and there are so many more options for projects that teachers can customize to their needs. Overall I think that finals can be stressful if you don’t manage your prep/study well, and even then, sitting down to do a test in a certain amount of time can be nerve wracking,” Sophomore Helena Morell said.

Finals are a heavy portion of our final grades, so are extremely important. Although they test out knowledge, they add to our stress levels which put us at a disadvantage when taking them. Project-based final exams are a lot less nerve wracking than test finals and are a more accurate way to test our knowledge than stressful exams.