Final exam protocols return to normal


Students have to adapt back to using a Scantron form for testing. Finals are returning to normalcy this year for the first time in a school year.

Grace Green, Assistant Editor

As the end of the semester comes to an end, final exam preparation is in full swing. Last school year, final exams were different from past years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the administration made accommodations for students because more students struggle with virtual learning. 

Some of the accommodations included not requiring students with an ”A” in the course to take the final exam and having the exam be “no-fault,” meaning, no matter what score you get, it will only help you or keep your grade the same. However, with COVID-19 cases slightly going down, and allowing all students to go to school in person, final exams will return to normal this semester. 

“NC will be returning to a more traditional final exam structure and process at the end of this semester. All students are required to take exams; each final exam will count towards the student’s final class grade regardless of the exam grade,” said assistant principal Greg Lineweaver. 

There are many reasons for having final exams, both for teachers and students. 

“These final exam practice-implemented to provide students with a final opportunity to demonstrate – and teachers to measure – the necessary content or standards-based skills being taught in a class.” Lineweaver said.

With re-implementing the old ways of taking exams, there is still one change happening to the grading system of exams. This was implemented at the beginning of the school year to all grades, so it will also be applied to final exams. 

“”One significant new procedure this year, however, is that (grade book the case with all gradebook measures throughout the semester) students will not be able to earn less than a 50% on their final exam,”” Lineweaver said.

Last year’s exam protocols were made to help students struggling with online school and allowed students to have a better chance of passing the class and the final. This protocol immensely helped students improve their grades. So with it being changed, why would the administration want to change it back to the more complex way?

“”During the specific circumstances of the COVID year, the accommodations were beneficial for a large majority of students. Because students have physically returned to school this year, however, those COVID-specific accommodations are no longer needed, and a return to the traditional final exam procedures is appropriate.”” Lineweaver said.

Even if last year’s protocols had benefitted students during COVID, it might not have been beneficial for students’ long-term knowledge of what they learned without being required to take the test.

“”The final exam accommodations during the 2020-2021 “”COVID”” school year were implemented to support students who were disproportionately and inevitably affected by COVID quarantines or virtual learning environments.”” Lineweaver said.

With the announcement of going back to the original way, there will naturally be mixed opinions from students and parents in response to it.

“”As in most cases, the feedback from students and parents will likely be varied. That being said, teachers and administration will always continue to listen to student and parent feedback in reflecting upon the procedures that NC decides are what is best for students at any specific time.”” Lineweaver said.