As Masuk students begin to settle into the new school year, they are faced with plenty of homework, class assignments, tests and the dreaded idea of midterms and finals. Due to the coronavirus and last year’s class restrictions, Masuk opted out of holding the biannual exams.
For most students, this was relieving and much-needed. Many felt online learning stunted their education, losing many vital skills while stuck behind a screen. Teachers could not perform to the best of their abilities without a room full of students in front of them. Taking a break from the midterms and finals was the best choice for everyone. However, this year is different. Classrooms are no longer restricted and Masuk is hoping for a normal year. It is suspected that the exams will return to the regular curriculum.
Currently, over half of the Masuk student body have not experienced the pleasures of midterms or finals. The sophomore class of 2024 missed out on the exams last year, meaning their first-ever midterm would be in Jan. Sophomore, Gianna Convertito, feels “stressed” and “scared” of the exams.
“Last year sucked,” said Convertito, who spent her first year of high school online. “I can’t remember anything from last year.”
Many students felt like they were on autopilot through the entirety of the 2020 and 2021 school year, and believe taking midterms and finals would be unfair. Losing a normal school year set many students back, causing them to struggle or perform poorly during tests.
On the other hand, some teachers are anxious to test their students again.
“I think it’s a disadvantage for students,” said biology teacher Diane Gaber about the lack of midterms and finals. “They don’t have the experience of taking longer, cumulative exams and that’s what the exams are like in college.”
Gaber’s biggest concern is preparing her students for the future. She insisted her freshman classes will be prepared.
“We’re gonna work towards that goal!” Gaber included positively.
On the other hand, instructional English administrator, Jeffrey Seymour, is a major influence on the debate of conducting midterms.
“This year we’re moving forward.” He explained. “Many of the faculty thinks that there’s value in them, especially for the students who are going to move onto college, because it’s something they are going to experience there.” Seymour acknowledged the concern of student’s preparation for the future. He knows that some teachers and students may feel unprepared. Although these tests are never fun or exciting, it is important to gain experience.
“This year is new for everybody. This year we’re starting with a blank slate and midterms will be really helpful in determining where people are, probably more so than any practice benchmark or things like that.” It is crucial for both students and teachers to measure ability and academic skills. Exams can provide guidance and information for each class.
According to Seymour, there is a constant debate on administering the midterms. However, despite student or teacher feelings, exams will most likely return, whether everyone is prepared or not. Coming January, there is a good chance that students will be back in their seats, ready to take midterms, with the hopes of satisfying grades. Good luck Masuk!