Midterm Mayhem

Kaelib Courtwright, Sports Editor

With the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year coming to a conclusion, one final task remains for the students of North Kingstown High School: the mid-term exams. While all students have to take these mid-term exams, there are many differences in terms of how younger and older students approach these exams.

Firstly, both students and guidance counselors agree that students are more effective test takers once they become older. Ms. Toro, head of the guidance department at NKHS, says that she spends most of her efforts related to mid-terms with the freshmen, saying that she goes to each freshman advisory she is responsible for to work with them. She says, “We focus more on them to help them prepare, then they kind of get the hang of it”. She believes that after freshman year, students get an idea of how to prepare for these exams, so they require less assistance from guidance.

Students come and go throughout North Kingstown High School, but their study methods have not varied. Ms. Toro says that she has not seen a change in how much effort students put into these exams, nor how they prepare for them. In addition, junior Jonah Ellis says that his studying methods have not varied during his high school career.

While the methods for studying do not change, how long a student may study does. Ellis says that he typically tries to study between one and three hours per exam, depending on the difficulty of the exam. He also says that he does not study for more than three exams per day.

Even though many students worry greatly about all their midterm exams, many people worry only about the more difficult exams. Ellis says that “the midterms have become just another test” in most of his subjects, although he remarked his more difficult exams cause him stress.

While the midterm exams can be difficult, most students agree that they pale in comparison to another standardized test: the SAT. Ellis says that the SAT has caused him far more stress than the midterms, due to the impact it has on his future.

While stress levels on the midterm are mixed, both Toro and Ellis believe that the midterms are a good idea. Toro thinks that the midterms are a good challenge for students, and an opportunity to improve their grade if they had a poor unit. Ellis believes that the midterms are “a good idea, executed poorly.” He believes that having a general overview of the content is good, but he believes the current system encourages cramming.

While midterms for many classes are agreed upon, the idea of exams for electives are mixed. Toro believes that having exams in electives encourages students to take the classes seriously, and while Ellis agrees for AP electives, he thinks that tests given throughout the semester are enough for most electives.

While teachers and students have different ideas about the midterms, both sides seem to agree that midterms are necessary. With the exams starting on the 21st, every student should take the time to prepare for these exams, even if they don’t enjoy it. After all, they’re good practice for the final exam.