Too Much Weight: Final percentages should replicate previous years


Julian Gallegos

The editorial board argues that finals should be worth less in students’ grades.


Late night studying, tired eyes, anxious thoughts and cramping hands. As finals approach, students are overwhelmed by the oncoming finals. For the first time in two years, final grades are worth 15% to 20% of their semester grades. Students’ idea of finals has changed drastically as the previous school years have been a rollercoaster.
Last year due to COVID-19, administration decided to modify the percentage of finals in the spring to accommodate for the setbacks students faced. This change was only temporary; however, 10% to 15% for final grades should continue to be the standard.
Having a cumulative final grade worth 20% of a grade is unfair to students. If a student has an A in a class, but struggles with high-pressure tests, they may not perform well on the exam and end the class with a low B. Finals have a negative effect on students’ grades with no time in the semester to bring it back up.
Asking students to take up to eight finals in a matter of three days is already a hard task. Students deserve a little leeway.
While the change in finals’ weights was modified in the previous school year to accommodate for COVID-19, the school should carry the 10% to 15% final grade into future years.
Variations in classes are also something that should call for alterations when it comes to how much a final should count for. If a student is in a level one art class, a 20% final is unrealistic.
Elective final grades should be minimized due to the less scholar-based curriculum, especially if a teacher has the choice to decide what the final exam is worth.
Unlike electives and non-honors/AP classes, students’ final grades is determined by the teacher themselves. For AP classes, grades replicate the set percentage of the college that students are dual enrolling in, to receive college credit.
If possible, teachers should modify their final grade worth, to account for what type of class they teach.
Overall, students’ class grade should not rely so heavily on their performance on one test. Students can work hard throughout the course and then struggle with a cumulative exam due to the stress, other classes, etc.
The previous change was in response to the adverse effects of COVID-19; however, a negative event led to a positive change in school. Administration should reevaluate the necessity of finals and replicate the 15% to 20% final grade enforced last spring.