By Chelsea Fox ’19

The end of the year is always a stressful time for students and teachers. With summer only a couple weeks away, I feel like I am always being ambushed with work in the days leading up to finals. However, when teachers opt to give us projects instead of exams, it relieves a large amount of stress and still allows students  to show how much they have learned.

Since I am finishing my junior year in high school, I have almost completed my stressful year of standardized tests. If there is anything that this experience has taught me, it is that testing does not accurately display how much a student knows. Finals are the same way. A test that is worth 10% of your final grade and has content from the entire curriculum is a recipe for disaster for those who are not strong test takers. Many students get nervous for tests and end up receiving grades that do not represent what the extent of their knowledge. In order to conquer this, more classes should be giving final projects instead of final exams.
Last year in U.S. History Honors, we had a final project. We were able to choose a topic that we felt passionate about and explain how it is a problem in the United States. Despite the name of the class, we spent most of the year discussing current events and conflicts in the country. By doing this project we were still able to reflect all that we learned during the year, but in a way that was a lot less stressful because we were not pressed for time, unsure about answers and worried about making mistakes.

Getting rid of final exams and implementing final projects instead would still serve the same purpose of showing everything a student has learned throughout the year. However, these projects will greatly diminish the stress levels of students who do not typically perform well on tests. I believe that in order to ensure the success of every student, more classes should replace final exams with final projects.

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