How Students feel about the Cancellation of Midterms

Midterm season: the most stressful time for students all over the country. After the student body’s attempt in petitioning to cancel midterms for the 2021-22 school year, the Howard County Board of Education ruled in their favor. 

There has been an increase in stress for the assessments due to students having virtual classes last year. Before the pandemic, both the midterm and final made up for 5% of the student’s final grade. With midterms canceled, finals are now worth 10% of students’ final grades. 

Centennial English teacher Kelli McDonough stated, “I really like the fact that midterms are canceled this year because there is so much uncertainty surrounding students that have been here… I have students that have been out for different reasons and I think that instead of playing ‘catch up’ with everyone, it was a really good choice at this time.”

Although many students are delighted to hear about the cancellation of midterms, they are in disagreement with the change in their finals. 

An anonymous freshman at Centennial said, “Yet, many students were upset about finals going back to 10% worth their grade. I completely hate that finals are being doubled into 10%.”

Assessments are a major factor in students’ academic careers, which is why many often feel immediate stress and pressure around the test date. 

Maia Kuo, a sophomore at Centennial, exclaimed, “Definitely dreading the time for finals but we all have to go through it at some point in our lives.” 

Midterms help students understand their grasp on course material and identify what subjects need work. However, the suspension of midterms may be detrimental to students as the doubled final grade could cause a high amount of anxiety for freshmen and sophomores who have yet to take any midterm or final exam. 

Oscar DeCarlo, a junior at Centennial, said, ”It makes me more nervous about how I will perform since it‘s worth a whole letter grade of your final grade.” Although exams are worth a hefty portion of students’ grades, some believe they should not be mandatory. “I think it helps but it’s not necessary for me to complete my personal goals which is to get into a good college, I think it’s a good way of setting up with test-taking for the future,” DeCarlo stated.

The discussion of the pros and cons of canceling midterms continues between students and teachers. It is commonly felt amongst students that it removed a major stress factor for them, but it also increased pressure for the end-of-year assessment that is to come. 

“My fear, however, is that canceling midterms, especially for the underclassmen who had not had them before, is going to make the final exam very stressful. So that to me would have been a good reason to have the midterm. So that the final didn’t seem as intense,” McDonough said.


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