Is the Midterm Schedule “Mid”?

Meghan Merlino, Editor in Chief

As Middletown High School South continues to progress forward from COVID-19, many elements of the school environment have reverted back to “normal.” From 2020 to 2021, midterms were not even a thing. Students forgot how to take exams, as everything was online. Last year, Middletown High School South decided to create a new schedule. For marking periods one and three, students would be required to complete a project for all of their classes. Students would then have to take a quarterly exam at the end of marking period two and a quarterly exam at the end of marking period four. 

For both the mid-year and final quarterly, there would be a week in which two exams would be taken each day. For example, one day a student would have an exam for their Block 1A and Block 5A classes. Blocks 2A and 6A were only twenty minutes in length and, many felt, a waste of time. 

This was the first year in a while in which Middletown High School South went back to the normal exam schedule. The projects done at the end of marking periods one and three were taken away, and only midterms and finals remain. Instead of having to go to school for a whole day, students went to two blocks, took two exams, and were able to leave school at 11:40. 

“Midterms this year were terrible. I didn’t need two hours to take a test. I finished all of them quickly and spent extra time doing nothing,” explains South Junior Gianna DeSerio.

Although the shortened day is nice, this schedule is not the best. The projects were a great way to balance learning, as students who are not good test takers are able to balance their grades. If they do poorly on an exam, they can do a project to help boost their grade.

“I enjoy the half days. It gives me more time to study, even though I usually sleep instead of studying anyways. I like that we only have midterms and finals, but I find it stressful. The projects balanced it out. I would much rather if the midterm was a project, but I don’t think it is necessary to have them every marking period,” states Junior Lila Dowd.

Both schedules have their pros and cons, but combining both of them would be ideal. Students would feel less stressed and overwhelmed and more motivated and happy if they were able to both have the projects count as much as exams, and be able to leave at 11:40 when taking said exams. Midterms and finals are extremely stressful, and especially so for students taking Advanced Placement classes. AP tests are hard enough, and if a student is taking the final AP exam in May, they are exempt from the final. This means that 20% of their final grade depends on how they do on the midterm. No student needs this kind of stress on top of everything else they have on their plate.

“I don’t want the quarterlies. If I have to do a quarterly project again, I’m dropping out of school,” Junior Jessica Franco jokingly states. “It is a waste of time and I would much rather just have midterms and finals.”