Students, professors have mixed feelings on what final exams should contain

Felix Sarver

Finals week has arrived and with it a variety of examinations that students must take.

Depending on the class or the professor, students take multiple choice tests, write in-class and take home essays or participate in other activities.

Anthony Ruelli, Sophomore pre-law psychology major, and Michael Agyekum, junior communications major, prefer final exams that offer multiple choice questions, but for different reasons.

Ruelli said he prefers multiple choice final exams as it allows him to eliminate answers.

“[It] gives you an opportunity to eliminate choices and choose what answer best suits your guess,” Ruelli said.

Agyekum said he prefers multiple choice final exams because he sees it as easier as students have a better chance of getting the answers correct.

Though multiple choice final exams are preferred by some students, Kayla Baron, junior pre-athletic training major, said she prefers in-class essays as a final exam.

“I’ve never done worse than a B on any essay I wrote,” Baron said. “I think the pressure makes me write better.”

Like students, professors also prefer different types of finals. History professor Aaron Fogleman said he prefers to tell his students what the final essay’s topic will be at the semester’s beginning.

“[This allows for] careful, well-documented written expression without time pressure, [which] reflects deeper learning,” Fogleman said. “I have chosen what, to me, seems to be the best method.”

English professor William Baker also prefers to assign take-home essays for his class’ finals.

“Students help each other and acknowledge assistance [and] learn from each other,” Baker said.

But some professors, like Neil Blackstone, biological sciences professor, prefer students use a multiple choice final exam.

“The format is similar to many standardized tests that are increasingly used to assess college graduates,” Blackstone said. “Thus this style of final prepares students for these crucial standardized tests.”