No midterms and finals this year is a good thing



Student studying

Erin Cragg, Staff Writer

The further along we get into January, the more I realize that if it was any other year, we’d all be studying away, preparing for midterms, filling all of our free time with studying, and trying to get ready for a test that makes up ten percent of our grades. I think that the cancellations of midterms and finals for the 2020 – 2021 school year were a great decision. 

With the hybrid schedule, students are getting minimal class time with their teachers each week. Typically, each class would meet four to five times a week for fifty minutes. Now, each class meets twice a week for an hour and a half, but sometimes only a half-hour of that time is spent with teacher direction. Due to the fact that only every other week contains in-person time with a teacher, there is a very small amount of in-person interactions between students and teachers for hybrid students. 

For many students, it is harder to learn remotely from home than at school. This affects all students, both hybrid and RLA. The hybrid students are primarily at home, either on google meets or doing asynchronous work, with little in-person teacher time. On the other hand, RLA students are always at home, with no in-person teacher time. 

There is an increase in independent work for many students which often makes it harder to learn. All of the asynchronous time during each day is filled with independent work, which often feels like busywork. Until the recent hybrid schedule change, most of my teachers were not combining the pods. There were days when I would be a home during a remote week and my whole morning would be filled with busy work that I was unmotivated to do. With such little teacher instruction, I didn’t always know how to do the work that I was assigned or I would have questions but no easy way to ask them until after the assignment was due.

In the AP class that I take, I would often have asynchronous work during either the morning or afternoon class time, depending on the week, as well as homework that night and homework over the weekend. It is an AP class so I expected a lot more work, but there had been significantly more independent work than there had been class time, whether in person or through Google Meets. I feel as though I am not learning as much in my AP class, or any of my other classes, than I would if there was more class time. The lack of class time and learning causes a lack of preparation for tests such as midterms and finals. A lot of additional stress would be added if midterms and finals were to happen this year. 

Also, there is a decrease in tests that students are taking this year. Personally, I have only taken seven quizzes or tests total this year. I would feel very unprepared if I had to go take midterms later this month. 

A lot of stress is typically put on students around midterms and finals, but this year there would be extra stress added to that due to the lack of class time and preparation. The extra stress is not needed on top of all of the stress that students are already experiencing as a result of how the pandemic is affecting school and everyone’s day-to-day lives. Students have already been struggling with stress and mental health as a result of things like sports being canceled, feeling isolated because they can’t see their friends as much, and from simply just being unmotivated. We are living in a stressful world right now, and students don’t need stress to be added on by having to take tests that they are unprepared for. 

By not having midterms or finals, much less stress is being put on students because they don’t have to worry about retaining information or spending so much extra time studying.

Canceling midterms and finals was something that needed to be done due to the schedule but it is helping relieve stress for many students.