Half Way Through the School Year

Student vs. teacher opinions on midterm exams

By Georgia Thoms

One of the many exams high schoolers have to take is the midterm, which can be described as a comprehensive exam testing a student’s knowledge of the semester.
“Part of the job of high school is to prepare students for what is next, and part of that oftentimes includes college, and college requires multiple comprehensive exams in most every course,” said science teacher Jolene Hiltz.

This is, for most freshman, the first time taking a major exam, and word has already spread on “the street” of the trepidation toward the exams.
“I don’t like midterms because I have to study a lot and it takes away my January,” said freshman Isabella Mazzi.
Contrasting the freshman’s anxious anticipation, seniors are generally more relaxed, because if their half-year course grade average is an 85 percent or higher, they are exempt from that exam.
“The pros of the midterm are that it shows your overall knowledge of the course and how well you can relearn information. The cons are that it does cram a lot into one section,” said senior Gianluca Mazzi when reflecting on past years.
One goal teachers face during this time of year, along with making and grading the exams, is properly supplying students with the information and materials they need to  succeed.
“Students do not take it seriously enough because they will say it is ‘only 10 percent’ but if you take that mindset, then you tend to downplay the importance of the test and don’t study properly,” said Latin teacher Cheri Meier.
Ms. Meier, Ms. Hiltz, the Mazzi’s, and countless other students noted that making flashcards and studying weeks in advance for short periods of time is the way to go. In the end, Ms. Meier relayed that cramming only stores knowledge for the test and is not retained for the future.
Ms. Hiltz commented that having the right study habit “will take some of the pressure off” and for freshmen she said, “They’ll be fine. They’ll survive.”

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