Student and staff reactions to final exam adjustments


Oakmont students and staff were asked to share their thoughts on the adjustment to final exams where there is no longer a 20% allocation to final exams (including papers, projects, and presentations).

Here are the unedited responses:

Isabella Allen – “My opinion is that finals are not necessary for this semester, but going forward, I think it is good to learn how to study for them for college. In college students will need to take finals and in some careers like law or medicine, people will need to take really big tests in order to be a lawyer or doctor. It may be good to make it so finals aren’t 20% of your grade but finals are good for students going to college.”

Colleen Schubmehl – “I’m in full support of the change to finals this year. I think a test being worth so much of our grades is an awful way to measure how much students may learn throughout the class.”

Mrs. Stefanakos – “This is my take on the final exam issue. I understand that times are stressful as is, so eliminating finals this year makes some sense, BUT I also believe final assessments (exams and projects) help to bring a course full circle and provide closure and accountability. With “normal” final activities, we revisit the things we’ve studied and assess whether students have gotten meaning from the course. I also believe final assessments in high school provide a safe venue to practice and prepare for major exams that students will likely encounter in college or any certification program. Graduating seniors who have not had finals for 2 1/2 years may feel more acute anxiety when having to take major exams in the post-secondary studies as they have had little experience.”

Helen Yan – “WAHOO NO FINALS! Finals are stressful, no finals is blessful. 🙂 Free time is me time,  no finals=me time.”

Henry Telicki– “I’m very happy about not having finals. The end of the semester is already stressful enough, and another exam doesn’t help. Also, in AP classes, we already have a cumulative test, so a final exam seems unnecessary.”

Mrs. Brown –  “There WILL be culminating exams/projects etc in each class….the difference is it will not count for 20% of the end of year grade, it will be a part of the term 2 grade.”

Delaney Taylor – “Although I am very relieved to not have final exams this year, I think that having final exams would have been beneficial to me so that I would be prepared for college.”

Anonymous Teacher – “I believe it is a negative thing for students to not have finals. It allows for a lack of accountability and does not prepare students for college.”

Jack Levesque – “Refreshing change of pace – and maybe a time to make up some work and focus on Semester II.”

Fiona Picone – “I disagree with getting rid of finals. In college, they have a huge weight for most courses. Learning how to study and prepare for high-stake examinations while we’re in high school would only benefit us going forward.”

Jordan Augusto – “Having no finals this year is for the best because of what Covid has done to our school, it takes away a lot of factors and makes it harder for us to learn.”