New York City, NY — by Molly Koch
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
This semester, I tragically encountered every student’s biggest fear: a final worth 50% of my grade. Meaning that this final, which also happened to be a lecture-style presentation for the entire 1 hour and 15 minute class, would outweigh every other assignment I had done the whole rest of the semester. To say I was anxious would be an understatement, considering it kept me awake the entire night before.
While final exams can be an opportunity for students to show what they have learned over the semester, they can unbalance grading systems and devalue other classwork when they are too heavily weighted. Course grades that place too much importance on final exam grades fail to evaluate students’ semester-long performance holistically.
Making these exams so consequential makes them more stressful for students, leading them to perform worse than they might have if they were worth less of their grade. Finals week is widely regarded as the most stressful time in the semester, with excessively weighted exams only adding to what is already a difficult situation. For students who have trouble taking tests or experience test anxiety, this can be particularly challenging.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.