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Competencies and Finals

by Sam P. | November 21st, 2013 | School, Teen Perspective, Teens

large classIf you were to go back 10 or 20 years, every school gave finals.  And then a few years ago, the idea of competencies was proposed.  Many schools dropped finals and switched over completely to competencies.  Not my school.  We are just about the only school that has both finals and competencies.  And let me tell you, it’s quite a bother.  Not only do I spend all year making sure all three or four competencies are at an A or B, but twice a year I have to cram everything that I’ve learnt so far that year back into my little head and take a giant test.

For those of you that don’t know, competencies are a way of grading.  They split your grade into three sections to judge whether you are competent in knowledge, skill, and ability of the topic or class.  Many students dislike this way of grading, while I personally love it.  Many students tend to be lacking in a competency, which isn’t good.  If you fail one competency you fail the whole class.  Although I personally think it is pretty hard to fail a competency since, at least in my school, the teachers help you and want you to pass.

If you have finals, you don’t have to worry about competencies, but twice a year you have a week of school dedicated to taking giant tests.  Finals are miserable.  Failing a final can make you fail a class, and at that point you don’t have time to bring your grade up.  Finals are a corrupted system for those of us who don’t test well.  And if you’re having a bad day the day of a final?  Chances are you’re out of luck.  At least I would be, since when I’m in a bad mood, I can’t concentrate.

If it was up to me, my school would do solely competencies.  It is easy enough to keep all your grades up, and then you don’t have to take a huge test at the end of the year!  Same thing with sophomore and senior projects.  Most schools have only one or the other, if any, but my school has both.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my school.  I love the teachers and most of the students there, it’s just a bummer that we have to do so much work.

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