Final Exams, A Rational Perspective

Before I begin, I would like to mention that I personally would not like to take final exams simply because that is extra work that I don’t want to do.

But my dad is adamant that I take my math and science exams because I want to be an engineer, and as an engineer I would need to know math and science. Initially, I was not happy about this, I’ve spent my whole year working problems and earned these exemptions…blah, blah, blah. But then I thought about it. All year long, I’ve had an A. Theoretically, I should ace the exams. And if I don’t, I obviously haven’t retained very much, meaning that I’ve just wasted an entire year of class.

This raises the question, what is the point of taking the class? If it is to simply fulfill a requirement set by the Board of Education, then it doesn’t matter what is/is not learned. But, for me the purpose is something else. I actually want to learn, understand and retain the knowledge that has been thrown at me all year long. Further, I want to take higher level courses in both fields, and eventually get degrees in these fields. So at some point or another, I will need to fully learn the concepts being taught, might as well make sure that I’m fully learning at every step. I think taking these final exams is one way to ensure that I did learn the necessary material. Of course, I could just cram for the exams, and forget it the next day (DemiDec’s AP Review books motto comes to mind – “I think, therefore I cram”), but I’m sure I will end up remembering some of the concepts over the years and be able to use those concepts as a base to further my knowledge.

I ended up asking myself some questions…Can I exempt classes in college? No. Then why are you exempting now? Because I can. Shouldn’t I be able to ace the test if I’m acing the class? Well…yes, but what if I forgot some of the concepts? How exactly do you expect to be an engineer if you forget some of the fundamental concepts of math and science? Good question.

Conclusion: When faced with these two options (exempting or testing), there is one rational option and there is one easy option.

So, why am I not taking exams for history and English as well? I won’t actually need to know all that history for engineering, and I already took an AP test for it which technically is a final.

As for English, nobody makes rational decisions all the time…


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