Point: Should we have a week dedicated to midterm exams?

Lya Rothmann, Contributing Writers

Amidst all the stress of homework, extracurricular activities, and obligations outside of school, the last thing that students need is more tests.  Nonetheless, midterms (and final exams for semester classes) are an essential part of academic life.  Most students prefer to have a week specifically dedicated to midterms, as it is a better alternative to having these tests during a normal school week, and expecting students to balance their class work loads while reviewing the material covered in an entire semester.

“I like having midterms separate because it gives us time to study without worrying about our classes,” said senior Laynie Calderwood.

Midterm week is designed so that students come in to school only for their scheduled tests, so that they have more time to study.  Even if students have a scheduled test every day, or have more than one test scheduled a day, they are given more studying time than in a normal school week.

While last year there were complaints about how the tests themselves were spaced out, there are inevitable conflicts and it remains in the best interest of the students to leave the current midterm week setup as is.

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” said social studies teacher Mr. Alex Sepulvida.

Besides the administration of January Regents exams, having a separate week for midterms is beneficial to students because it allows us to focus our time on studying for those tests, time that would otherwise be taken up by homework.

Learning how to prioritize is an essential skill for the future.  Using this time to space out studying accordingly gives students the opportunity to practice that skill.

“It’s a great time to try and meet with teachers and come up with a plan to study,” said senior Aimee Levinson.  “And for seniors, these grades really matter, so trying your hardest means everything.”

Especially for juniors and seniors who are worrying about getting into college, there is added pressure to do well on their midterms and finals. For seniors sending out mid-year reports to colleges, midterms are a large part of boosting grades in their classes.  For those who simply want to raise their GPA, midterms are the most common solution.

In a hypothetical situation where midterm week is removed, all that would happen is that every teacher would have their midterms on Thursday and Friday of the week in an attempt to maximize review time.  That means that most of a student’s classes would force them to review an entire semester’s worth of material at the same time.  There is also the increased possibility of having multiple tests in one day, which does not seem pleasant.

The benefits of long-term studying versus cramming have been proven time and time again, but at best, a student will only remember the material for a short time.  At worst, they might not remember what they have learned at all.

Knowing how midterm week is going to be scheduled beforehand and being able to plan out study time accordingly allows students to focus on more long-term ways of remembering what they have learned.

To minimize the pressures that multiple tests cause, midterms should be administered during a separate week.