For seniors, replace final exams with projects

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Jacob Fletcher ’22

Senioritis is an experience that almost all seniors go through. 

The dissociation from school work and a willingness to try to enjoy the most of senior year are things that every senior feels at the end of second semester. Strake Jesuit forces all seniors to take a second semester final, unless the student has an A in the class. However, SJ should alter the format from final tests into a final project that can still test the knowledge of the students while also providing a valuable process for growth and enjoyment. 

As a senior, which gives me credibility to speak on this issue, I know that senior year brings on a wave of laziness. The tipping point occurs when you decide which college to attend. Then, every senior has picked a college for next fall, signifying the optimal time for senioritis to kick in. 

As seniors near the end of their time at Strake Jesuit, they are trying to enjoy their stay at the school. Seniors are trying to pass their classes and spend time with friends. Finals evaluate the knowledge already taught instead of imparting new wisdom to students. It contributes little or nothing to student’s learning and places a burden that takes time away from their planning for college and from their last precious moments with their classmates. 

Rather than taking final exams, why not have seniors complete a final project, even a team project? Such a final project would test more than just knowledge of the class information already taught. It could test worldly skills like teamwork and social skills that will benefit them in college. A project can be creative. Instead of a mundane standard test, students would be able to use their imagination and put more motivation into the assignment and learn new information. A project allows students to build on the knowledge they’ve learned in class, an outcome which serves the purpose of an assessment. 

Strake Jesuit should consider replacing senior finals with an individual or group project instead.