Finals: Last 10% of grade determined in various ways

Art work by Candace Morgan

Art work by Candace Morgan

EllieAna Hale and Sidney Gore

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Art work by Candace Morgan

Working hard or hardly working? For some final exams, there is a massive amount of stress on studying but for others you just have to show up for the grade.

Principal Tim Hamblin prefers students to work for their grade instead of getting handed a 100% for only showing up.

“That is absolutely not my expectation in no way, and that is news that I am not happy to hear,” Hamblin said.

Teachers generally base their final off what they taught through the semester. As a result, core classes have tests necessary to study for, while performance classes often do a presentation or a long-term project.

“Typically we start with the final at the beginning of the semester so that’s where the teachers are planning from and we make sure we teach everything that is going to show up in the final,” English teacher Rachel Shipley said. “It’s basically all of the things you need to learn throughout the semester.”

But the final for music classes is based on the last concert, so for the actual final day students get points for showing up.

Teachers have been scrambling to construct tests, prepare students and put in a few final grades so students can calculate the grade they need to pass the class.

“So essentially our department came up with a common assessment for U.S History and World History for all the kids,” history teacher Austin Wuthrich said. “No matter what class they’re in, they are going to take the same exact final. The final is going to be cumulative of what they’ve learned.”

Depending on the class a student is in, each teacher gives a different variation of how they give a final test.

“In the English department, we always have to have a common assessment, so it’s like a 60-point, multiple-choice Skyward test,” English teacher Michelle Forsberg said. “… the Pre-AP classes have the exact same questions. They’ve always had that, and we’ve talked about changing it.”

Between AP courses and performance-based classes, the final test is vastly different.

“There is absolutely a difference between standard classes and AP,” Hamblin said. “I trust that the AP exam should absolutely be followed with fidelity, and that the AP program dictates. We have to give a test that the AP exam dictates, so it’s plausible that those tests will be different.”