A freshman perspective: midterms

A scantron sheet similar to what students have to use for their midterms.

from The Conversation

A scantron sheet similar to what students have to use for their midterms.

Sophia Keang, Staff Writer

As a freshman, I didn’t expect the amount of pressure high school midterms had on students. I’ve always known midterms were important but never thought they would cause me the amount of stress they did.

Midterms at WA count for 10% towards your final grade in every class. There are midterms for all classes, including electives, which I didn’t expect. The fact that we’re expected to memorize and understand a whole semester’s worth of information was a bit overwhelming for me, but it did not surprise me. 

I’ve heard from many upperclassmen that they study hours for midterms, and some even go to the extreme of deleting their social media so they don’t get distracted while studying. They also advised me to manage my time to the best of my ability when studying. Upperclassmen have also given me tips such as don’t study with a group of friends that most likely will distract me, and don’t cram all in one night.

On the other hand, some students say midterms weren’t bad when they were a freshman, especially because they thought the classes they took weren’t too challenging and the classes they’re currently taking are much harder. Though I was given the advice, I was still nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect.

I’ve been told that midterms are fairly important, so students shouldn’t slack off. I also heard kids talking about midterms as if an exam determined who they are in life. It upsets me, even as a freshman, that my peers are willing to stay up late at night studying instead of sleeping, putting a number they get on a test before their health. 

Though there is stress involved during the time of year, I definitely enjoyed the midterm schedule. I like not having to be at school until 8:30 AM, and getting to leave at 12:00 PM, giving students the opportunity to prepare for the tests they have for the next day. 

I also know that many of my peers enjoyed the midterm schedule because it gave a bit more freedom to students who typically weren’t used to them in middle school. The only midterm middle schoolers had were math midterms, and students still had to go to school for the whole day. I really thought I benefited from the schedule because I could go home, eat, take a nap, and then study for my other upcoming exams. 

However, the amount of freedom we got from teachers caused me to be more self-aware and improve my time management skills. Middle school teachers are constantly reminding their students about upcoming tests and due dates, while in high school (depending on the classes you’re taking) teachers expect their students to be on top of things. 

When reflecting back on middle school, I noticed the different levels of stress I had last year and this year. I felt, personally, that middle school did not prepare me well for midterms. This is because in middle school there aren’t any midterms except for math, and most likely the teachers would communicate with one another so students won’t have any other test that day of their math midterm. While in high school, students are expected to take two midterms each day of the week for all of their classes.

During the week of midterms, there was a day where WA brought in therapy dogs hoping to reduce some stress during the week for students. I personally did not go to the event because so many people have signed up that WA had to reserve specific times for each class. Freshmen were assigned to go to the event around 1:30 PM. I felt that I could go home and get some studying for the next day’s exams. 

Overall, the thought of midterms did stress me out but not to an extreme level because I know this is something I will have to deal with in the future. I actually enjoyed the midterm schedule where students had the chance to leave school at 10:30 a.m. after completing their exams.