Midterm Madness

Statistic poll Millikan Corydon conducted on students.

Statistic poll Millikan Corydon conducted on students.

Charlie Hex, News Editor

As we approach the holiday season and winter break, the daunting week of midterms looms over our heads. Only a couple weeks after students return from break, some teachers will expect us to recall all of the information we have learned this semester during a 90 minute test. 

Having to recall that large amount of information for even one or more classes all in one week is a massive stressor for students. It is unrealistic to expect the majority of students to do well in these circumstances, and it feels like students are being set up to fail. 

According to a Google intake form put out by the Millikan Corydon, 68.8% of students think that midterms should be discontinued, while 31.2% believe that midterms should be kept. 

An anonymous Millikan student who responded to the intake form says that “[Midterms] teach us to value grades over actual retained knowledge or general health, encouraging cheating and all-nighters to study.” 

Students who responded that we should keep the midterms argued that they help prepare for college and give a good review of all the information learned throughout the semester. 

Pre-calc teacher Ron Quintana says that midterms are “beneficial in the fact that students have to review everything from day one…reviewing puts everything from short term memory into long term memory.”

Student taking a test to study for midterms.

According to Quintana, the district requires teachers to provide midterms with the intention of a cumulative test helping students prepare for college, where students will be required to take an end of course test for every course. 

Elizabeth Meza, an English, AVID, and AP Seminar teacher says that midterms can be “…a good way to see how students are performing.” She added that they also add so much unnecessary stress on students. Meza says that it might be better to have a regular assessment without the title of midterm to take some of the pressure off of students. However, Meza said/contrasted that some students may thrive off of that pressure and it could encourage them to learn the material better. 

Overall, it seems to be that midterms can be beneficial for some students, and not so much so for others. Like many other things in life, midterms have both it’s pros and cons, but it seems a little bit unreasonable to have a midterm if it has such a dramatic impact on a student’s grade. Students should be offered other solutions, such as making midterms shorter, having them impact grades less, giving midterms before winter break as opposed to after, having a project rather than one test, amongst other things. 

Even if midterms are necessary to keep, maybe we should simply be paying more attention to students’ opinions and needs to better suit them during this often stressful time. 

Here are some helpful study sites to get you prepared for the upcoming midterms this year:

Khan Academy