While many students at McNicholas are calculating their final averages to check for exemptions from the final exam, some are questioning why the final exemption cutoff is set at 93%.
After the 2012-13 school year, McNicholas raised the final exemption cutoff for seniors from an 85% to a 93%. The Class of 2017 lobbied to have the final exemption percentage reduced to a 90% as a senior privilege, but were denied. Director of Curriculum Dan Rosenbaum said not making the change wasn’t just an administration decision.
“When this year’s seniors were freshmen, it was the first year freshmen, sophomores, and juniors could be exempt from the final exam with at least a 93%. Before that change, only seniors could be exempt from a final exam. Not lowering the exemption cutoff from seniors back down wasn’t just the administration’s decision; the chairperson of each department was asked about the idea of change as well. We want to keep higher standards and let the change made in 2012 to play out a little longer,” Rosenbaum said.
After four long years of leadership, hard work, and dedication to McNicholas, the seniors deserve to have the final exemption cutoff lowered as a ‘senior privilege’. After senior year, they will have to take every exam in college no matter what their overall grade is. College is a tremendous amount of work and as a stress reliever, the seniors should be able to be exempt much easier than a 93%.
Math teacher Bill Losekamp wouldn’t have an issue if the cutoff were lower.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with it being lowered for seniors as a last reward. The seniors will need to be able to take big tests in college, but lowering it would be reasonable,” he said.
The seniors think the final exemption needs to be lowered for various reasons.
“I think that lowering the exam exemption grade is a really good thing for seniors. Senior year is stressful all in itself with picking colleges, working, sports, etc. I think it would be beneficial to lower it because students would work harder to become exempt. The 92.5 overall average discourages students because they think they cannot achieve it, but if it were to be lowered, they would actually try to get exempt,” senior Bridget Strotman said.
“I think lowering the final grade exemption is a good idea even though students with a perfect grade may be a bit upset that students who barely scraped by get the same privileges they do. I think an average between 80-90 is good enough to get exempt. It is an accomplishment to get 4/5 answers correct in a course of study before entering college,” senior Hunter Cole said.
If a change weren’t to be made for the Class of ’17, McNicholas should consider lowering the exemption grade for future seniors.