Midterm Relief?

This year marks the first  in which students are not given midterm exams. When the news of this first circulated last May, everyone was elated. There would be no more late nights cowering over textbooks, trying to remember half of the material that was forgotten over winter break. But maybe that was wishful thinking.

The end of the marking period brought the usual stress that it always seems to. Students were desperately trying to finish last minute assignments teachers tend to cram in at once. Frantically trying to bring up grades, students’ hopelessly watch their stress levels skyrocket. However, this usual workload was paired with suspiciously named “accumulative” tests by a majority of teachers. So much for not having midterms.

But some students were lucky. When asked about these deceptive not-midterms-half-year tests, Jessica Arnold argued that, “It depends on the teacher. I didn’t have a single accumulative test and don’t feel as stressed at all.” Many students agreed with this point of view since they felt a hefty weight had been lifted.

Others weren’t so lucky. These students could still be found studying under blankets in the frigid January weather but without the benefits midterms brought. When midterms were mandatory, there was a specific schedule devised specifically so that a student would only have two exams in one day and then the rest of the day off to study for the next exams. “I had all my half year tests in one day” student Liza Chang complained, “and all this other work from my classes too.” Not enough time to do twice as much studying and work can never be a good combination. Instead of reducing stress, the removal of midterms seemed to increase it for the unlucky students with accumulative tests.

Though stress levels may have varied as did opinions toward midterms, I’m sure we can all agree that those lovely half days will be sorely missed.