New midterm policy backfires

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New midterm policy backfires

Physics instruction spreads from the whiteboard to the windows.

Physics instruction spreads from the whiteboard to the windows.

Kavya Desikan

Physics instruction spreads from the whiteboard to the windows.

Kavya Desikan

Kavya Desikan

Physics instruction spreads from the whiteboard to the windows.

Kavya Desikan, Editor

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It’s no secret that the end of the first semester is a stressful one for students at Westford Academy. With students rushing to finish their assignments, studying for tests and quizzes, and preparing for their midterm exams, it is expected that the students feel somewhat stressed at WA.

To combat this stress, Westford Academy implemented a new policy for teachers surrounding tests and quizzes around the two weeks that midterms take place. The policy entails that no teacher be allowed to assign tests and quizzes during the week of midterms, as exams start on Thursday of that week.

For many teachers, this meant pushing most tests and quizzes to the week before midterms. While well-intentioned, the rules have bought some controversy amongst students at WA.

“All the teachers crammed everything in before this week, so I’d have four tests in a day. It resulted in me getting no sleep, and I know this because I had to do a sleep log for AP Psychology, and you can see I got an average of 3.8 hours of sleep per night during that week,” said senior Ava Scully.

While not every student faced upwards of two to three tests per day, some students did see an increase in projects and essays due the week of midterms. For many, the increase in work that week actually ended up doing more harm than good.

“I didn’t start studying [last week] because I had other [assignments] to worry about,” said senior Julianne Lee.

Many students were not quiet about the amount of work that was loaded on to them, often venting their frustrations online to friends.

“I saw left and right people talking about and posting about how much work they have to complete before being able to start studying for midterms,” said Lee.

While students were obviously unhappy with the outcome of these changes, they understood that their teachers were not at fault, and pointed out other solutions administration could have made in regards to lowering the amount of work in the lead up to midterms.

“We’re going to be having a midterm a week later, [they could] just put what is on the test on the midterm instead,” said Scully.

While the policy was well-intentioned, some students just found it falling flat upon implementation.

“I see the merit in Challenge Success trying to look out for the students by saying ‘let’s not do tests in the same week as midterms’. That’s a valid idea that makes sense, but logistically it didn’t make sense,” said Lee.

In the future, students hope that their feedback will be taken into consideration, and the policy as it had been implemented before will not return.

“It made everything worse,” said Scully, “please don’t do that again.”

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