It sucked for the students, but your teachers had a valid justification for kick-starting the premature graying of your hair: Without giving you a huge cumulative test, there'd be no way to make sure any useful knowledge made it into your head alongside all those Pokemon stats and Power Rangers sexual fantasies. You only hated it because it was hard, you lazy, spoiled little bastard!
"And then the Pink Ranger's all like, 'Hey, Green Ranger, I can play the flute a different way ...' And then-"
But You Were Right ...
Hey, you know who has done away with final exams as a concept? A little school called fucking Harvard University. They no longer require professors to issue giant year-end tests, and in fact, if a professor wants to give a final exam, he or she has to file a specific request to do so. In 2010, only 259 of the university's 1,137 undergraduate courses still issued exams, which puts Harvard students' time-honored tradition of cheating on them in dire jeopardy.
Some critics say that's just Harvard professors being lazy and/or letting their students off easy. But before you crotchety 25-year-olds start grumbling about how much wussier today's schools have gotten since your time, let's take a look at what exactly the critics are saying. The idea isn't to get rid of exams because they're too hard on our precious children's fragile widdle brains; it's that waiting until the end to assess what the students learned is a terrible way to get kids to actually retain the information. A week of "cramming" is good for passing a test and absolutely nothing else.
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