All About the Midterm Madness 

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Dylan Daniels, Staff Writer

 

As the school year’s dreaded winter approaches, many students grow anxious and uneasy about the even more dreaded midterm week. The winter season is already miserable: freezing cold weather, spending no time outside, being in the middle of the school year, and midterm week only adds to this misery. By January, students have a much heavier workload, more frequent testing, and are typically at their most anxious levels. Heavily weighted midterms are the cherry on top of this sundae of already rampant stress, only making students’ lives worse. Many students are left wondering: what good can midterms even do?

 

In many teacher’s eyes, midterms are for numerous purposes, none of which are to create more stress for students. One reason for midterms is to practice important test-taking skills that will be needed later on in college. Many teachers believe that the practice of taking a midterm supplies students with new skills, such as preparing for tests and time management while test-taking. Another purpose for midterms is to assess the students’ general knowledge of that course so far. Teachers and administrators can analyze midterm scores and adjust their teaching methods accordingly. 

 

Realistically, each purpose for midterms can be accomplished elsewhere. Practicing testing occurs almost weekly for students and is already a constant in their lives. In almost every subject, students take some form of assessment at least once a month. These tests and quizzes not only prepare students for the testing they will undergo in the future, but assess their knowledge on the given topic. Homework, quizzes, projects, presentations and worksheets all accomplish this as well. Therefore, midterms are not only unnecessary in principle, but with the consideration of all the additional stress and hardships they impose on students. 

 

By January, most students already have dozens of assignments on their plate as well as non-academic stress. Having heavily weighted tests in addition to all of this can be very difficult for students. Even without the threat of midterms, students are already extremely overwhelmed; the addition of commitments like sports, clubs, and other extracurriculars leave students with no free time. Midterms require extensive preparation, as they account for a large percentage of a student’s final grade and thus, there is additional pressure for students to do well. Especially with the cumulative grading system, grades will likely be heavily impacted by these tests compared to those taken in previous years.

 

At this point in the year, when midterms are something we know we will have to experience, this article may be leaving you feeling stressed. As midterm week approaches, it is helpful to take it slow and steady. Preparation is key to reducing stress. While, of course, you must balance midterm studying with preparation for other tests and quizzes, it is important to start early. Rather than waiting to cram and cause yourself more stress, once you have midterm dates, start your studying as soon as possible. 

 

I am hopeful that more teachers and administrators will realize the negative impacts of midterms and that one day, we can gravitate to different testing strategies. But for now, good luck on your 2022 midterms!