Spring Finals Are Cancelled. What Do Minnetonka Students Think?

Catherine Komp, Staff Writer

In a fitting conclusion to a undeniably unique school year complete with unprecedented challenges (including the new hybrid and e-learning models, a first for Minnetonka), the Minnetonka School Board has decided to cancel all high school finals. This decision follows the cancellations of finals last spring and midterms this past winter. While some find the loss of a possible grade boost to be distressing, many more see the cancellation as a welcome surprise.

Upon hearing about the test cancellation from friends, Dana Zucker, ’23, felt “super relieved” and grateful for the flexibility. “Since I’m already taking several challenging honors and AP classes, I just feel like a final on top of that only adds to the stress” and isn’t beneficial. 

AP classes, after all, already have a difficult final examination with potential for college credit and a weighted GPA–all on top of any finals one might take. 

“I’ve worked hard all year to keep good grades in all my classes,” Zucker continued, “so the heavy weighting [of the final] is super stressful for me because if I don’t perform well [on that single test], my grade might go down. It seems unfair.” 

Zucker also said that conversations with friends have led her to conclude that “many students don’t really see [final exams] as positive for the most part,” and that they instead act solely as an additional stressor in the already busy lives of many Minnetonka students.

Sarah Johnsen, also ‘23, agreed with Zucker. 

“Other than as a good review [of yearlong material] for the AP tests we’re taking, [finals] don’t really seem very necessary to me,” she said, though she agreed that they are beneficial in preparing students for college where midterms and finals are weighted similarly. 

“For me in particular, I think it would be good if they do eliminate [final exams]. Since I’m already taking final-like tests for AP classes, it’s kinda too much,” Johnsen said. 

 Perhaps eliminating finals in college equivalent classes that already have year-long review tests would be a better option. 

Zucker went even further than Johnsen, suggesting the school continue to forgo finals in future years. She reasoned that, since many classes already have closing unit or chapter tests in the week leading up to finals, which students need time to study for, having additional cumulative tests for all six classes—12 tests total in some cases—is “excessive,” and is requiring too much of students in such a tight time frame. 

She instead suggested that students should be able to put all of their energy into finishing the school year strong in each class through their regular chapter tests and assignments, rather than trying to perform well on one all-important test. 

It remains to be seen whether this idea will someday become a reality with such a push from the student body, but, until then, it sounds like the majority of students will be wholeheartedly enjoying their year off from the rigors of final exams.