Finals: outdated method of testing comprehension

While the weather remains noticeably indecisive, one thing for sure remains clear: the term known as “dead week” is here. In the week leading up to finals, the library becomes a sanctuary intended for cramming last minute information for final exams and term papers, making it imaginably one of the largest college clichés of every semester.

I made a promise to myself before this week even started. I promised to keep my integrity intact by allowing my ethical and moral decisions of reasoning decide the outcome of my study habits.

In my opinion this isn’t just cram time, but it’s a dark time for students ,and I for one refuse to allow myself to become sucked in by the chaos and madness of finals. 

Adderall and caffeine have become the two darkest and most abused form of coping in terms of study habits, especially among our campus where students are so uneasy about the feelings of finals they are willing to risk their health in order to get a passing grade. 

So I beg the question: when a large percentage of student health reaches its all-time low, why is it that this outdated university tradition is still considered to be the most important time of a school semester? 

It is every student’s choice to make the decision to misuse and overuse these drugs and not everyone is the same, but when students are driven to the point of insanity one way or another merely on the basis of passing their classes who can blame them. 

The standard is so high that sometimes we don’t even know how to approach it. That’s not to say I don’t like to be challenged, because I do. Every day of the semester is just as important as “dead week” because that’s when I’m really retaining my information.

Yes, I would have to agree that obtaining a degree or certificate does require an individual to prove their knowledge and understanding of a subject before completion, but there are other means of obtaining proof of competence without a scantron.

I hate the feeling of being overwhelmed by a test that will not reflect my actual abilities, but only my thoughts at that particular moment. I would prefer to demonstrate my knowledge by performing tasks hands-on on for a given field of study.

This is a shout out and a thank you to the professors that understand what students need by either giving a final just challenging enough to cover the main idea of the class, or not giving a final exam all together. I commend and acknowledge you.

Allowing us to show our competency daily makes me feels less like a robot and more like a human.  We appreciate flexibility and respect that you sanction us to show our skills of the craft in our own way, by participating through input and output of the skills reflecting your course daily.

But really it all comes down to one thing and one thing only: you. You have a decision to be triumphant in the outcome of every semester and you also have the power to destroy your own success. One way or another take the credit, but must importantly act accordingly and be realistic. 

Grounding myself by managing these stress levels and keeping them within my control has allowed me to learn more about myself and what I can do with my experience as a student. 

Now I look at the bigger picture and allow myself enough time to get the class material down. The idea of scantrons and long exams sitting in front of my face for the last week of each semester is daunting and stressful, but universities expect us to get through it. It’s almost as if their real test is how you react under pressure and perform under stress, and not really the subject matter from the course.