Why We Should Not Take Finals: POV of Juniors at CHS

Bad test takers 

Many students are bright, but simply crack under pressure and are bad test takers. Finals are such a big percentage of our final grade, it would be devastating for someone to have a lower average because of one test. One test does not and should not show the full abilities of a student. Junior Lior Oren says, “I know the material, but am just a bad test taker which makes finals a bad way to test my knowledge. I even wish finals could take form in a different way than the traditional test on paper. Doing a research specific project is a better way to examine my true abilities.” Students at CHS care about their grades and what they learn from it but feel a test is not a good way to prove they are academically intelligent. 

Heads up?

To make matters worse, in Cresskill, we did not receive a proper heads up for this stressful news. We were only alerted- informally- that we would have to take finals for the first time in the third marking period. Junior Alyson Seok says, “Finals by itself are so stressful. CHS was very unclear whether we would have them or not and when it became clear we would, we got a reduced amount of time to prepare. This made a stressful experience to begin with a lot worse.” A final test includes such a large amount of material, from the beginning of the year until the very end, and it would only be fair to allow students the most time possible to properly study for a test that influences 10% of their grade. To this day, CHS students did not receive an email addressing finals.

Memory test

When studying for a test that assesses so much knowledge, it becomes a memory test. It is  beyond difficult and almost impossible to have the time and ability to sit down and try to comprehend each topic you learned for each subject. Therefore, students are forced to memorize rather than actually understand what they are doing. That way, the second they leave the testing room, all that information leaves their brains immediately, meaning that memory is not long term. Junior Andrew Fawcett says, “We already get tested on each topic separately, proving our comprehension. Testing us on all of the topics at once is nothing but a memory test.” Would it not be more beneficial to conduct various meaningful in class activities that target different topics learned throughout the year? 

Standardized Testing Exists

We already sit for ELA, Math, and science standardized testing every year- some of the testing falls in March and other in late May, both very close to finals. These tests indicate each student’s knowledge and capabilities making finals unnecessary. Junior Tiko Tuvauri says, “We are already forced to take standardized testing. There is no difference between the material in standardized testing and finals, making finals completely useless.” Additionally, unlike finals, the standardized testing is used to see where students are at in order to better their education rather than taking into account their GPA. 

Juniors never took the exam, NVD and NVOT canceled finals 

NVD and NVOT, CHS’s neighboring public schools, are not forcing Juniors to take finals this year, as they believe Covid-19 has affected them. The fact that Cresskill, a town affected by not only Covid-19, but a flood and the transition of 3 different school settings in just one year, is forcing Juniors to take finals is absurd! Junior Alejando Araje argues, “My Junior friends from NVD and NVOT are not taking finals this year which is pretty upsetting because they were not as affected as us Juniors at CHS were.” Taking a final the year that counts the most, after never taking it before, is unfair to say the least. Freshman and sophomore year are supposed to be a time to “practice” finals through experience for the most important year that colleges consider. And Cresskill, it is not too late to change your mind about finals, NVOT (who said they will have finals in September) alerted their students in early May that there will no longer be finals!


Junior students are studying for AP exams and the SAT like machines as the school year comes to an end. It is too much pressure! On the other hand, Seniors are given the option to either take finals or volunteer for our community/complete an internship. Senior Abby Green said, “I completed an internship throughout the school year instead of taking finals. I got actual real life experience rather than school/studying experience that I already got so much of throughout my high school career.”  It is not logical that only Seniors are given this opportunity, as it is equally important that Juniors give back to their community and gain real life experience as well. Instead of a final exam that arguably tests our knowledge, volunteering and interning gives students the opportunity to be more generous and prepared people before they enter the real world.