Finals must be mandatory state-wide
With so much change and uncertainty this year, many have wondered if finals are even a viable option for students in Arizona. With no precedent, many schools have opted out of having their students take finals, while other schools still require their students to take finals at the end of the semester. Some might see this as unfair because it will give students from different schools different dominance or limitations. All students should be required to take finals because it allows teachers to evaluate students, helps the student self-evaluate, and does not allow students to have an advantage over other students. The material covered on the final can be altered to fit the curriculum.
When students take finals, it sets a standard for the next year. If students took finals this year, it would allow teachers to see in what particular portions of the curriculum the students are weak. Then they can prepare for the next school year accordingly. This will give teachers enough time to arrange for review or further explanation of the curriculum and material. It would give teachers an opportunity to strengthen their students in the following year.
Finals present an opportunity for students to self-evaluate their own learning and growth. If a student does not feel like they are prepared for the next class, they have ample time to get a tutor, take summer school, retake the class, or alter their schedule. It provides an all-encompassing review of what they need to know in their class the following year. Then, when students return from break, although the material is not new and fresh in their memory, they still have a basic understanding from their final preparations.
It may seem that since this year has been so different and difficult, that finals should not be required; because some classes have not covered as much material as they would in a traditional school year, finals should not be mandatory. But if a class has not covered as much material as they have in the past, the finals can be modified to fit the curriculum the students have learned. Other standardized tests such as the AP tests have done as much, both this year and last year; they condensed the material to cover only what was taught in the classroom. If finals are not required by some schools, then it would give colleges an incorrect representation of what and how students learned. Since finals impact a students final grade, it would not be an accurate comparison between students.