Are Finals Really Necessary?


Final exams are not worth the mental distress and sleep deprivation that students go through twice a school year.

As most junior high, high school, and college students are already familiar with, there is always the two weeks of stress and studying before experiencing the freedom and joy that comes with the holiday season. Many students spend most of the holiday month cramming and studying for their exams, losing sleep, and getting anxiety before and during the final week of school.  

Midterms and finals are tests that usually cover the entire semester’s curriculum, so students have to review lessons they learned earlier that semester in each class in order to be able to earn a good grade on the tests. These expectations can be overwhelming and stressful for many students as most have up to seven different classes, and having them study every topic that they covered in each of their classes that semester is somewhat illogical. It would take weeks and weeks of studying to actually cover everything they’ve learned.

The average student sleeps about six hours during finals’ week according to, while the healthy amount of sleep for the average teenager is eight to ten hours, and finals’ week doesn’t make it any better. Is one test for each class worth students’ sleep deprivation or mental health? 

Many students have aced tests and quizzes on certain topics that they also tend to forget after a while, leading to worse grades and outcomes on the same topics during the final. Many argue that the point of these final exams is to get students to review the topic once again, so they can remember it, but they will forget it once again after their finals. Reviewing information right before the test may be an effective way of studying, but according to Washington Post’s article “Cramming may help for next-day exams. But for long-term memory, spacing out study is what works,” crammers forget the subject a while after taking the test. 

Although finals can be beneficial for some students as it is a chance to raise their grade from that borderline B to A or C to B, it is also an opportunity for many students to bring their grades down. For those who are content with their grades, these exams can be damaging to their grade as they have to work hard to keep the grade they worked so to have as they are met with the possibility that it may go back down again. 

Considering that final exams usually don’t introduce any new topics that students learned, it really isn’t necessary for students to study and cram for their finals and lose hours of sleep and health because of it.