Do seniors really need midterms?


Sara Zukowsky

Two seniors stress as they take a test.

Sara Zukowsky, Staff Writer

I was sitting at my kitchen table, tears in my eyes, as my father and I yelled at each other about CP Geometry my freshman year. I had studied for over twelve hours for each of my seven classes and I had finally felt prepared for my midterms. I was evidently not. The stress of midterms, just my freshman year had brought me to tears multiple times, and the anxiety that existed because of midterms is not worth any benefit that midterms can provide.

Midterms are running this year, except for seniors who have a ninety or above in a semester-long class. They will be worth six percent of students’ final grades as opposed to the typical ten percent.

Seniors should be exempt from midterms in all classes should they have above a ninety. Seniors should not need to add the stress of studying for a major test to the stress of applying to college. I understand the importance of midterms and finals. It is how we will be tested in college the majority of the time. As high schoolers, we are preparing for college and we will be prepared because of how we are tested at WA. I cannot deny the benefit of them, and I do believe that younger grades should continue testing with midterms. Yet seniors, who are either stressed about Jan. 15 deadlines or not caring any more over school since they already applied everywhere, should not need to take them. 

Midterms and finals can be beneficial for future education except they truly do not prove anything. In college, students are almost always only assessed with midterms. We are tested throughout the year to demonstrate an understanding of the material. We are tested at the end of each unit, showing we already know the information. Students should not have to take a test to prove knowledge of the information they already proved they knew through another assessment.

If a senior has above a ninety in any subject, half-year course or not, they have proved they know the material being taught. It is unreasonable to have seniors take another test to prove they know the information they have already demonstrated their knowledge about. If any student has shown their knowledge by receiving high grades, they should not need to prove it again.

Students are earning these high grades by studying and working incredibly hard. We should not need to retest on the information we already successfully tested well on. As a senior, if I am receiving A’s on every test I have taken or essay I have written throughout the year in all of my classes, then I know the information and I should not have to prove it again. 

I can understand that teachers are confirming that students know the information we already learned and that we can learn more and build upon it. Yet I have already proved that I know the information we learned when I was tested on it originally, so semester-long course or not, as a senior with a ninety or above in any class, I should not have to take a midterm.

The only space I think midterms are practical for seniors above the ninety cut-off would be practice AP exams, which are beneficial in the long run. They would help us with the exam but do not need to count for our grades, as AP tests and grades are entirely separate. AP practice exams should be given throughout the year regardless of midterms and grades as means of practice and preparation. 

I am not against midterms. They are beneficial but can be unreasonable in certain situations. Seniors who are thriving in their classes with an A in a class should not have to take them, especially because studying for midterms aligns with the college applications timeline. I am focusing on writing countless essays for college application deadlines. I, and any other student, should not need to focus on a big test worth six percent of our final grade.

The stress that comes with midterms as well, is not worth any value they can have. Even if they were the best way to test us along the way, the anxiety that they cause in students is entirely unreasonable. I have friends who don’t sleep because they go from school to extracurriculars to work to homework and finally to studying for midterms.

Midterms are unreasonable for seniors with a ninety or above in any class and the stress they cause makes them unwarranted as well. I understand the benefit of having midterms and finals but the anxiety and impracticality of them are not worth the benefit. The stress and inconvenience that midterms and finals cause outweighs the value of having them.