Taking finals at the end of the school year can be a stressful experience for most students. But in the long run, these high stakes tests are beneficial for both students and teachers.

First, taking finals is a good way for students to see how far they have come during a semester. Earning good grade on finals at the end of first semester increases their confidence as they begin the last half of the year. Of course, the opposite is true, too. Students who do not do well on their finals know they have to kick it into high gear for their next semesters. Plus, taking finals in high school is a good way to help students prepare for college or other educational programs after high school. For most college classes, a midterm and final exam may be the only two grades for a semester. Taking a final in high school prepares students for that high level of importance that would blindside them if they had never prepared for these types of tests.

For teachers, seeing how students perform on finals can be either reassuring or show them what they need to rework. Seeing if students are retaining the information is important for teachers to see if they are successful. Having this information gives them a better idea of what they need to focus on more when teaching the subjects to the next group.

I think taking finals personally as a student is a better experience than taking ISTEP or other standardized tests. Taking finals in high school has even been less stressful compared to testing in middle school. Most teachers provide study guides and review sessions, so students can be successful if they try.