If I’ve learned anything from being a student, it’s that most people don’t take finals as seriously as teachers and professors would like. Students often see finals as the last giant step to being done with that class forever and don’t really study until the last minute, don’t write their final papers until the day of the exam. I’m guilty of this too, don’t get me wrong. If students aren’t going to prepare in advance, they can’t show their professor/teacher how much they’ve learned.
This measure of knowledge is very subjective to individual interpretation. Some students are good at taking tests and will ace them without a second thought, but another student who learned just as much would get a much lower grade if test taking isn’t their forte. Now I’m not suggesting that professors stop giving exams because until such time that we can figure out another way to accurately access how much students have learned over the course of the semester, final exams and final papers will stay. But don’t be too harsh on yourself if you didn’t get the grade you wanted. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t much matter anyway. Not everyone is good at taking tests. That’s okay. Don’t base your value on a letter grade. You’re more than your GPA.