Semester Finals are Returning After Not Having Them for Two Years


Credit to Amoolya Pandurangi

Using her calculator, senior Jada Brown takes a test in calculus AB in Paxton Mansell’s classroom. This year finals are worth 10% of the final grade instead of 20% from previous years. “I think it’s great that finals aren’t as heavily weighted,” Brown said.

By Morgan Chairs

Students here at Francis Howell North have heard of the dreaded semester finals, however most students haven’t experienced them. For those who may not know, semester finals will be in January after students get back from winter break.

This year some changes have been made, grades are only 10% of a student’s overall semester grade. Also this year there will be final exemptions that allow students not to take the final without hurting their grade. Both seniors and juniors get automatic exemptions, seniors having three and juniors having two. Exemptions can be earned if a student got a 27 or higher on their ACT, if they take the AP exam for that specific class and if they got proficient or advanced on last year’s EOCs. However students can only earn these exemptions if they have at least a 90% attendance rate and have an A in the class.

“We’re really thinking that finals would be very much like they were pre-COVID,” assistant principal Erin Steep said. “So, you would have three finals on the 12th and then two on the 13th and two on the 14th.”

With COVID and quarantines still going on in the world, teachers have been given more leniency when it comes to the content of their final test.

“Teachers have a little more freedom in some of our classes,” Steep said. “There are district finals that teachers have to give and they’ve been told that they do not have to give that final. They can make changes this year because with quarantines and just everything still being a little bit weird.”

Not only will it be the freshmen’s first time taking a final, it will also be the first time for sophomores and juniors. This means that technically only seniors have truly taken high school finals.

“Finals weren’t all that bad,” senior Jack Murray said. “At the time I was nervous but after I realized it wasn’t really worth all the hype.”