Is there an academic justification behind most U.S. classes weighting exams at very high percentages of the overall grade in a course? So if a student does exceedingly well throughout the course in all projects, but bombs both tests, their grade is drastically skewed towards the exams rather than the coursework leading up to the exams.
Full disclosure, this happened to me this semester. I have a 97.75% on our projects throughout the course (4 major projects, each taking ~20 hours to complete). However, I admittedly bombed the final and did fairly poorly on the midterm (37% and 70%, respectively). Projects in our course are weighted 60%, but the remaining 40% is entirely midterm/final. My final grade for the class is hovering around 80% before the curve.
I want to understand the mindset behind these weights though, and where the idea of heavy cumulative exam weights came from? In other words, if I've demonstrated the understanding of the material to almost perfect standards, but I failed to represent that on a test, how does that translate to me being given a grade that doesn't really represent a strong understanding in the subject?