Say Goodbye to Midterms and Finals

Maddie Meltzer

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Among the multiple changes in the 2019-2020 school year, students at Emerson Junior Senior High School will no longer have midterms or finals, which will be replaced by quartleys and block periods, because the preparation and testing for exams at the end of each semester take up too much time and the school wants to try out something new.

I have mixed feelings about this new change because the block periods, which are two hours long, seem like they will get extremely boring or I will simply get sick of it. For study hall, it will be nice because I can go home for two hours. But, I am not looking forward to sitting in my core classes for that long. The quarteleys do not apply to me since I am not in any AP classes, so I do not have to worry about those. 

Of course, there is the obvious positive about no more midterms and finals: no more long, two hour exams and no more studying and preparing for them.  This year, I would’ve only had three midterms and finals. During the exam week, I would not have to come into school a lot, which I would have loved. Preparing for the exams are tedious and I will not be missing that. Apparently, the school thinks so, too. 

One of the reasons for the school making this change is because of the preparation and the testing week itself just takes up too much time. Although I agree, I would rather have that than having regular class. Another reason that this change took place is to try something new. The school loves trying new things, such as adding activity period into the middle of the day, signing into bathrooms, and giving students the freedom to sit in the courtyard during lunch. Every change the school has made has been successful, so I think that this change will also be successful and stick for the future school years. 

I asked some students their opinion on having no midterms and finals. Senior Ghazal Khouri said, “I have very mixed feelings about it. Now, it is better to not have to worry about finals, but also having finals and midterms can help us in the long run to prepare for the college midterms and finals.” I agree with her about not having to worry about the exams as it can be very stressful for some students. 

On the other hand, there are a lot of students who do not take the time to prepare for the exams and will just cram the night before. 

When I asked Senior Nick LaForge for his opinion on this change, he said, “I think it is great because most of the time, kids don’t prepare for it and cram the night before. So, it does not benefit us and it takes time away from class. You could have class instead of taking those big tests.”

Staying in school and having block periods for non-core classes such as gym is pointless. We should be allowed to stay home like we would during midterms and finals week because there would be no exam for those classes. As much as I will dread sitting in my core classes for two hours, I do understand the reason for that.  

I feel like students will get very bored during the two hour block periods and will lose focus, which will just end up being a waste of class time. There are definitely some classes that I do not know how I will sit through two hours of it. I asked a student her opinion on the block periods and if she thinks they will get boring. Suzanne Granucci, a senior, said, “I think they’re a complete waste and serve absolutely no purpose. There was no reason to replace finals and midterms as there was nothing wrong with them.”

It is apparent that there are mixed feelings about this new change, some people love it and others do not. I am on the fence because there are both benefits and disadvantages to giving up midterms and finals while replacing them with quartleys and block periods. Only time will tell if this new change will be successful. 

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