Are Final Exams so 2000?

Imagine your time in college without finals exams. Can’t do it? Sound like music to your ears? Well, it may become reality for some extremely lucky students. Harvard is making its professors decide within the first week of class whether or not there will be a final exam at the end of semester. Universities around the country look to Harvard as a trendsetter, so this new policy may be making its way to your campus in the next few years.

We all hate finals, but would we start to miss them if they were gone?

Pro: LESS STRESS! Five days to learn an entire semester’s worth of material in six different classes? Finals week is nothing but a week-long cram session, filled with multiple all-nighters and hours spent camping out in the library. The alternative to exams (projects, term papers, presentations) are much more reflective of what you actually learned and show that you understand the History of Mental Illness. This is what you’ll be doing for your boss in the future… not bubbling circles in with a Number 2 pencil.

Con: The cute, studious guy you find poring over a textbook in the student union (Hellloo study break!) – where will he be if his classes don’t have exams?

Pro: A stronger student-professor relationship. You are no longer just a number in a Excel grading sheet. A professor has to sit down, read what you write (or listen to what you are saying) and evaluate your work. Hopefully they would remember your six-page paper on The New Face of Public Relations and be more inclined to write out a great recommendation for your dream internship next semester.

Con: Say goodbye to that amazing finals week care package from your Mom. You know, the one with her famous chocolate chip cookies and a new pair of comfy sweatpants to make your time in the library more enjoyable.

Pro: Less involvement from Teaching Assistants. You are shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to get an education, digging yourself deeper and deeper in debt from student loans, just for a TA to come along and grade your exam. Eliminate final exams (or exams altogether) and the person you are paying to stand in front of the room and lecture would actually be grading your material. It’s about time.

Con: Group projects. Professors don’t have the time to listen to 200 individual presentations. Instead they will pair you up in groups and expect you to work together, which never happens. I hate group projects. You hate group projects. We all hate group projects. There is always that one person who is okay with a C, does the absolute bare minimum and expects the rest of the group to pick up their slack. So I get to stress out and lose sleep because I want an A? No thanks, buddy.

So what do you think? Should we eliminate finals?

Candy Dish: Uh, Best Invention EVER?
Candy Dish: Uh, Best Invention EVER?
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