Everything you need to know about final exemptions

The only time students are really happy about finals is when they do not have to take them. Some students (mostly seniors) have the privilege of final exemptions, but the rules for these exemptions have changed over the years, and it can often be confusing for students to figure out exactly which finals they can exempt.  

First, the only finals that all grades can exempt are for AP courses. Students are allowed to not take their AP course final if they have at least an 80% average in the course and take the AP exam through college board.

The only students who can exempt non-AP finals are seniors. They have a limit of 2 full course exemptions, and they need to have an “A” in each marking period. However, a semester course only counts as half of an exemption, meaning seniors can exempt either 2 full year courses, 1 full year course and 2 semester courses, or 4 semester courses.

The exemption rules were not always this strict; seniors used to be allowed to exempt even more finals and lower classmen could exempt some too. However, due to increased requirements for schools, students are required to take more finals.

“In the past, the exemptions for grade levels were 4 for seniors, 2 for juniors, and 1 for sophomores. Due to the increased rigor and requirements from school and teachers in the state of Pennsylvania and throughout the country, teachers and students’ grades are more heavily scrutinized and examined. Because of these requirements, all grade levels have been required to take exams at an increased rate,” explained assistant principal Matthew Edwards.