Why I Wish We Had a Midterms Week:

Katelyn McGauley

The Tuesday after Martin Luther King Weekend starts, in my opinion, the oddest week of the school year: Midterms. Students are asked to take tests that have material from an entire semester while maintaining a regular school schedule. While some teachers opt out of having a midterm in order to reduce stress or move through other new material, students are usually faced with studying for at least one cumulative test that can dominate one’s schedule and make it hard to manage normal tests and homework assignments. With this said, I wish NCDS had an official midterms week. 

As some upperclassmen might remember, NCDS used to have a Finals week the week of Memorial Day. Finals taught me proper study skills for cumulative exams, how to manage my extra curricular activities and school work, and how to pace myself throughout long exams. By the time finals were taken away and replaced with a project based curriculum with a block schedule last year, I was not as affected as an underclassmen because I was studying for AP Exams. Yet, the skills I had learned from finals I took in years prior benefited me in the preparation and execution of my AP Exams.

In my eyes, when boiled down to the simplest terms, high school is designed to prepare students for college and life as an adult. It is no secret that an important part of surviving in college and in life is being able to perform well on exams. I feel that the lack of cumulative tests at NCDS will cause future alumni to fall short on major tests in college, because they don’t get the opportunity to learn from their mistakes while studying in high school. Without Midterms week or Finals Week, the only opportunity for students at NCDS to learn how to study for an important test is the AP Exams, which isn’t enough and has too much on the line for junior’s grades going to college. 

The main argument for getting rid of Finals week and not having a Midterms week is to reduce stress amongst the student body. However, in my opinion, studying for your first cumulative exam during junior year (which happens to have a major impact on your grade and college resume) can cause even more stress for students than having Midterms and/or Finals during their early years of high school. Also, once alumni go off to college, they will have the stress of studying for major cumulative exams every semester and without the skills to take the exams there could be an added stress later on. So, exposing students to the stress of taking semester exams early could make college exams easier and less stressful. But if the school still believes that Finals would cause too much stress for the student body because studying an entire year’s curriculum for multiple classes is too much of a burden, Midterms could be a great way to give students a way to learn to study. 

If we had a Midterm week, like we used to have a finals week, students would learn how to be able to study for large tests without the stress of studying for a final exam with a whole years worth of material on one test. Students would learn how to study for cumulative exams that are only one semester while having the experience of taking an exam before AP Exams. I also believe that average grades on Midterms would increase because with other classes and homework cancelled, students would be able to focus on only studying which could result in a better grade on the exam. 

In conclusion, I think the addition of a Midterms Week to the school schedule would enable students to learn how to study and take a cumulative exam or complete a cumulative essay without the stress of managing other coursework for other classes or the stress of studying an entire years worth of curriculum in May.