It’s getting close to December which means two things: it’s almost winter break and it’s almost time for semester one final exams. Although final exams can get some of us all feeling a bit nervous, how much does an exam actually affect your grade? It seems as if some of us spend hours of studying for these exams, but when the exam scores come in, our grade isn’t influenced to the point we thought it would be.
First off, our final exams are 10% of our semester grade which may sound like a lot, but is it really that much? Let’s put this into perspective: someone has a 60% for the semester in class so this final exam can either make or break their grade. If this person was to get a 100% on their exam, their grade would only raise 4% for them to have a final grade of 64%. That is a pretty significant amount, but that is only if the person got a 100% on the final. If the person was to get a 70% on the final exam, their grade would only raise 1% to have a final grade of 61%. Does the final exams really even matter very much in that case?
Here’s another perspective: someone has an 89% in a class. They are trying their hardest to receive at least an A- for a final letter grade. One problem though. That A- can only be accomplished by receiving at least a 99% on the final exam, which means they would most likely only be able to answer one or possibly two answers incorrectly before they can no longer receive that A- for the semester. It is entirely possible to get a 99% on the final, but it would just be extremely challenging.
As previously said, final exams do not give your semester grade as much of a boost as many people talk it up to, but how could we change that? This could be changed by increasing the percent the final exams are worth of your semester grade. Even if your final exam counted as 20% of your semester grade instead of 10%, it would give students more opportunity to be able to boost their grades at the end of the semester and could be a significant help to borderline grades.
So, do you think they should increase the value of final exams or keep it the way it is? I think they should increase the value of final exams because it would give students a better chance to get their grades up and would make hours of studying for exams more worthwhile.