THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

All grades deserve exemptions from finals

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All grades deserve exemptions from finals

Junior Nellie Zhang stressing about finals despite her great grades.

Junior Nellie Zhang stressing about finals despite her great grades.

Photo Sharada Vishwanath

Junior Nellie Zhang stressing about finals despite her great grades.

Photo Sharada Vishwanath

Photo Sharada Vishwanath

Junior Nellie Zhang stressing about finals despite her great grades.

Ben Grasso, Staff Writer

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As a senior at Algonquin, my favorite number this year has definitely been 89.5. This number, loved by each and every one of my 342 peers, represents the grade it takes to be exempt from finals.

Seniors have three shared interests: skip days, senior privileges, and being exempt from the horrors of finals. I log onto Canvas every day at some point or another, just praying that I’ve kept at least some of my grades above an 89.5 percent. After being at Algonquin for a full four years, most importantly my senior year, I don’t understand why exemptions from finals only apply to the ones who are known to try the least. This may even be a reason as to why it only applies to seniors, but having expectations for seniors to slack off should be no reason to leave out the younger grades. I firmly believe that all grades should be eligible for exemptions.

My first three years, I had an endless amount of envy for the seniors. I was jealous of their cars and their skip days, but nothing came close to my jealousy of their exemptions. It didn’t help that I found out one day that some neighboring schools, like Westborough, allow all grades, freshman through senior year, to be exempt from their exams if their grades were eligible.

The aspect of the decision that I understand the least is the why. What is the reasoning behind allowing only seniors to be exempt? Now, of course, there are some benefits to leaving exemptions for seniors only. Many believe that it helps to ensure that students learn the material to the fullest extent, and the midterm and final help ensure that they retain that knowledge. It may also be that these big exams will help to prepare us for finals in college, the most important schooling of our lives. Others may believe that it gives seniors another thing to look forward to as they progress through their high school years. However, I personally don’t believe that either of these reasons provides a good enough argument to keep this rule in place.

I know for sure that looking back, I would’ve had significantly more motivation to succeed in class with the hope of not taking a final. As a freshman and sophomore, I didn’t care a great deal about the quality of my grades, as long as I wasn’t getting C’s.

Administration needs to discuss allowing exemptions for all grades at Algonquin for the 2018-19 school year in their next meeting. The current policies dismiss the hard work of the lower classmen, and they deserve to be rewarded for the endless hours of stress that school entails.

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All grades deserve exemptions from finals