Final Exams A Test or Not a Test?

When it comes to finals I think most of us will agree that it's not what it should be. Finals are becoming more and more of a test following an all night cram session then it is based on the knowledge learned throughout the semester. The whole idea of having a final exam seems to have changed just over my time as a student and varies from class to class. Is there a better way to test? At most finals stress everyone out, and completely alter your sleeping habits for the week, or maybe two. There's got to be a better way.


Liz said...

I hate finals. I think that it is a horrible way of testing whether or not we learned anything. Cramming a whole semester of knowledge in one test and expecting students to go back and study on things that we have already studied on is stupid. It does just turn into an all night cram.

Dr. Tufte said...

Umm ... I'd hope that for the most part you recognize that I do try to make my final exams different and less problematic.

That's one of the reasons you have to blog. On the other hand ... here I sit the Monday after final exams and who is still cramming to get things done?

Blake said...

I agree with you Maddy. I tend to favor tests that cover the last bit of covered material, rather than a semester comprehensive final. Having to cram information for a final that will likely forgotten by the end of the test seems like a complete waste. If someone is lucky enough to get an A on a test, but isn't able to retain that information 6 months down the road while on the job, is that effective learning? Perhaps school should just end when it ends, and tests should occur when they normally would, rather than carrying on the mind draining tradition of stessful, pressure filled final weeks.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Blake's comment for grammatical errors.

That's a shame, because I couldn't have said it better myself.