Archived Story

Now all high school students take finals

Published 11:45am Thursday, January 9, 2014

Column: A Happy Medium, by Erin Murtaugh

The week many high-schoolers in Albert Lea have been dreading has arrived. This year, final exams are required for all high school students.

In previous years, finals were only required for some students. They would be given to students who didn’t meet the requirements for attendance, who had bad grades or who wanted to take them for a boost in their grade. It was seen as a reward system. If you did well in school and coming to school, you got two days off and didn’t have to take finals.

The change in the policy requires all students to take finals for all classes. Some teachers are finding alternatives to giving a final exam. For example, they require final creative projects such as movies or art projects that had to do with the material learned in class.

A good portion of other high schools require students to take finals, so really it isn’t that big of a shock that we have to now. It is more of an adjustment, just like many of the other changes that have been made around the school in the past few years.

I really liked the reward system of finals. If you didn’t have any to take, you were left with a week to relax and not have to worry about studying. I voluntarily chose to take a few of my finals over the years. The first final I took was just to see what finals were all about. I took my math final, and going into it unprepared, I did pretty well. I’ve also taken a couple of finals just to see if I could get a little boost in my grades.

One thing I like about having to take finals is that it prepares you for what college will be like. There, you have to take finals. So to have the push in high school is a good eye opener for a peek of what college will be like.

When it comes down to it though, I miss my relaxed week of not having to take finals and wish the policy hadn’t changed.


Albert Lea resident Erin Murtaugh is a senior at Albert Lea High School.