Yes, BLS Should Have Finals.

By Brandon Flores (IV), Contributing Writer

Are you still upset that you didn’t get the grade you wanted on your sixie Latin final? Probably not, but back then, you were so worried about it, as if your entire future counted on it. But it didn’t, and you probably do not even remember the grade you got on it.

Finals get a bad rep, but they provide a solution for something students always complain about: the idea that classes have limited value, especially since you forget so much of the content so soon. Final exams hold students accountable for their education, so it is up to them whether or not they retain the knowledge they have gained.

Cumulative assessments may be flawed, but they consistently reappear in one’s future. Many career paths require a license which must be renewed every so often by passing (you guessed it) a cumulative assessment. They are an efficient way to measure proficiency on a large scale, which is critical even past high school. They are required in college as well! As a school that aims to prepare students for future endeavors, regardless of what they are, Boston Latin School should provide a platform for students to learn how to prepare for something like a final and overcome the challenges that come along with it.

Final exams are also advantageous because they bring together all the important and necessary content covered throughout an academic year. These tests are particularly helpful for the students who will take a related class the following year. Many courses often require foundational knowledge covered in the previous academic year. Without finals, students would not have motivation to retain information for the long term. Although students might forget a significant amount of information over the course of the summer, it would be even worse without a final exam.

Since the study skills applied throughout the year are crucial for success, it is indispensable for teachers and students alike to understand what requires improvement and what is going well. It also helps administrators and teachers better understand what works and what does not since final exams are identical, regardless of the teacher. If there is no absolute standard to measure up to, what value is there in building a solid foundation throughout the year?

For all students, especially at an elite school like BLS, finals are valuable tools to prepare students for the future. Performing well on them only demonstrates a student’s progress and skills and is simply an opportunity to measure one’s understanding of a course and grow from it. This means that grades on a final exam do not always reflect a student’s performance over the course of an entire year, nor do they reflect their effort. All BLS students have been disappointed by a grade at one point or another, but what makes students exceptional is how they take those results and push themselves to grow from their mistakes.