Midterms up for consideration in years to come


Photo Credit: Caroline Griffin

Students study for midterms for the 2015-2016 school year.

by Caroline Griffin, Staff Writer

Midterms may not receive a passing mark next year. Finals may find themselves off the honor roll, as well.

Although midterms and finals are scheduled for the 2015-2016 school year, the school administration has said that they’re up for continued debate in years to come.

For sophomore Mia Seibold, an end to midterms can’t come too soon.

“Midterms for me personally bring me a lot of stress, and I think a solution to them is to make quarterly tests rather than midterms and finals which is just more to study for,” Seibold (’18) said.

Despite the faculty’s hopes to relieve student stress with numerous study guides and relaxation periods during Physical Education classes, no headway has been made to definitively alter midterm or final plans.

“I had a discussion with staff, students, and parents and in each case we received mixed results,” principal John Arlotta said. “Some feel there is too much time lost to testing and others think exams prepare our students for what they will see in college.”

For Hallie Johnson, a sophomore, exams aren’t something that she discusses without a personal interest.  She’s been studying for her exams for weeks.

“For students like myself I feel it is pointless to jam a bunch of things into your head just to forget them later on,” Johnson said. “It requires a lot of preparation time and way too many hours are spent on studying for just one subject. They should spread them out and not make them back to back in the same week.”

Yet exams are not ubiquitous across high schools in New Jersey, nor are they mandated by law.  Midterm and final examinations are put in place by school administrations and can be just as easily removed from the school year.

“Some other districts have either eliminated exams or replaced them with quarterly assignments,” Arlotta explained.

Yet teachers and parents say that midterms and exams prepare students for college-level testing, where the majority of one’s grade could fall into a single, heavily-weighted assignment.

Glen Rock students, though, are mostly thinking about the immediate consequences of an exam rather than the long-term training, expressing that GPAs are lowered because of the midterms and final exams.

Each examination counts as 10% of a student’s final, averaged grade. The midterm and final together act similarly to a “fifth marking period,” which is then averaged with the other four.  Aside from a final grade, these midterm assessments also help to decide class-level placement and AP class entry.

“For those who aren’t good at test taking, it certainly isn’t fair that a certain percent of their grade is counted towards their GPA because in that case it would be higher without them,” Johnson said.

Although students are taking exams this year, this is clearly a topic in need of further study.

“We decided to keep our current practice but to take another look at it this year,” Arlotta said. “I do plan on further discussing as promised.”