The posters are everywhere; “Seven keys to college readiness.” One thing not included in this infographic is final exam scores, because final exams were phased out by the county. However, colleges are based by semester and trimesters and have final exams for each course taken. Having no final exams in high school may cause students to lack the proper preparation for exams in college.
Lauren Yi is a freshman at the University of Maryland who is still adjusting to the college life, but more specifically the workload and tests. “Even though final exams add on an excessive amount of stress on high schoolers, I think they are necessary to take. By not taking finals, students aren’t going to be prepared for the reality of college and that the amount of work is a lot more. Once college comes, students won’t be familiar with the feeling and preparation associated with exams. So, as great as it would be to not do finals, taking them will help students in the long run,” Yi said.
Like Yi, freshman Greg Garcia is a Gamecock at the University of South Carolina who also feels unprepared for the big tests in college. “Without final exams, students aren’t adequately prepared for the stress and preparation that comes with them. Students become unaware of the amount of time, work, and effort that goes into the final exam process, especially for the harder courses. They’ll fail to learn time management and won’t be ready for the exams due to the lack of preparation during high school,” Garcia said.
On the other hand, some students feel that having no final exams barely makes a difference in college. “I feel that we take enough standardized tests and AP tests in high school that it helps prepare you for college,” Fraizer Lugenbeel, a freshman at Miami University of Ohio said.
Exams are not the only thing that can prepare students for college academically. The type of work that students are given as well as how in class time versus out of class time is used all affect students’ habits in college. “I felt unprepared going into college because college focuses a lot more on the quality of the work than the quantity that high school focuses on,” Lugenbeel said.
The feelings about the effect of no final exams have other factors that go into them that should be taken into consideration. The professors at each college may teach things in a way that makes exams seem easier, or the opposite. Schools could give homework that better prepares students, and the class the exam is on makes a difference as well.
For example, Dennis Child, a freshman at Cornell University has not felt unprepared. “Not having final exams in high school hasn’t affected me in college,” Child said.