Opinion: Midterms do not test students’ knowledge


Credit: Abby Stoller

WSPN’s Jackie Stoller and Jay Abdella offer their best tips and tricks on how to ace your midterm exams this week.

Olivia Waldron and Abby Stoller

Midterms are the most stressful and difficult week of the year, and these five or six tests represent an unrealistic amount of material and percentage of final grade. Although midterms may be good practice for finals exams in college, high schoolers have enough going on in their lives, and students do not need extra loads of stress piling on their shoulders.

The week of January 23rd, is the week of the year that students dread more than anything. Midterms are a two hour test that covers every little detail you have learned that year since September. These short two hours can drastically change and impact your final grade. They are worth 10% of your final grade, which is an unreasonable amount. At WHS, students often study a pretty good deal before a unit test or quiz.

Because there is so much material on midterms, most students spend hours and hours preparing for the dreadful two hour test. However, because there are only 24 hours in a day, and five or six exams in one week, where do students find the time to prepare? At the same time, winter sports are at the peak of their season, family life can conflict, and some students take SATs the weekend before. Midterms are unrealistic and not a great way to test students knowledge. In fact, tons of students stay up until 2 a.m. or later studying. How is this healthy? In addition, according to many teachers, we should expect to score 10% lower than how we normally get graded each quarter. If even the teachers believe this, then there is clearly a major problem.

Midterms are also known as a very high-stress week in January. Students pull all-nighters, staying up studying so they don’t fail their midterms. Teachers are constantly telling us to calm down and not to worry as much because the tests are only worth 10% of our grades, but in reality, the stress is coming from them. Over a span of three days, we have to recall everything that we had learned over a five month period. If you talk to most students taking midterms, they are all completely stressed and are studying for hours on end. As many people know, stress is very unhealthy. It can increase the risk of multiple conditions and diseases, but it also decreases most students’ ability to do well on tests. So, the stress of midterms leads to bad grades on midterms, which then leads to even more stress; it is a very unhealthy cycle. In a work environment, you would never have to do this because you would always have a partner or notes to look on. So, when teachers tell us that it will help us in the long run, it is just one big lie.

In comparison to finals, midterms are more difficult because of their timing. Finals take place during the last week in the school year, and students look forward to summer vacation. Many use it as motivation to get through the week. As for midterms, students realize there is still another half of the year left, and this may cause them an extra load of stress. In addition, some finals are often broken up into various parts over the course of several days, which separates the workload into smaller chunks. This is a less overwhelming form of exam, and Wayland High School should consider trying midterms in this format.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.