The “Final” Exam

North Carolina Final Exam: a standardized test designed to mentally drain students for two hours at a time. These tests have been frowned upon for years by students and teachers alike. After eighteen prolonged weeks, just when you think it’s finally over, your celebration is cut short by none other than the NCFE.  For many years, students throughout the state have wished that they did not have to take the NCFE. Soon that wish will become a reality! 

On Sept. 5, 2019, Governor Roy Cooper (not the social studies teacher/track coach at Apex High Roy Cooper) signed Senate Bill 621 into law making drastic changes to our school system in terms of testing. Senate Bill 621 states, “Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the State Board of Education shall eliminate the use of the NC Final Exam as part of the statewide testing program to assess teacher performance and professional growth… all State-mandated assessments are administered in multiple short testing events throughout the school year rather than in a single long testing event at the end of the year.” This means there will no longer be any state-made tests at the end of your courses in high school. Without the requirement of a state test, many of the final exams will become teacher-made, potentially qualifying future seniors for exemptions. Outside of just high school, this bill will also be removing the EOGs and EOCs from grades three through eight.

One of the biggest reasons behind the passing of this bill is the large concern of overtesting students. State Superintendent Mark Johnson says, “While the numbers might not look high in the scheme of 1.5 million students, this is overtesting.” Many people in the school system, outside of the students, believe that children are being overtested. These large amounts of tests throughout a child’s life in school is said to cause increased levels of stress due to the high-stakes quality of the exams. Not only will this test reduction act lower stress levels in students across the state, but the periodical “check-in” assessments that will replace the NCFEs are expected to give more accurate information on how both teachers and students are performing.

In the end, no one actually likes taking tests, so why not take less of them? This new bill is certainly making students across the state happier than ever. Not only will students enjoy the delicacy of taking less tests, but students may feel less of a burden as the school year comes to a close. As a reminder, no NCFEs mean possible senior exemptions, so to all the seniors of the future, go to school, get your exemptions, and make your life easier.

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