Midterms are possibly the most reprehensible week of school for students across the country. At South, this dreaded stretch of tests occurs in late January, contrary to other schools who have them in early January or even before Christmas break in December. With a wide range of opportunities to take midterm exams, which option is the best?
One idea is to take midterms before students leave for Christmas break. Some private schools, such as University of Detroit Jesuit High School, have their midterms before break, which I think it is a great idea. It gives students an incentive– get through your exams and then have almost two weeks off to recharge for the next semester.
Another positive is that after Thanksgiving break, those next few weeks can all be spent preparing for midterms. After midterms in January, there’s no time for students to mentally reset. go right back to school Tuesday after finishing the last exam Friday. There will be a better overall morale among students if there’s a break after their exams.
A different option is to still take the exams in January, but a week earlier instead. No one wants to come back to school just to start preparing for a huge test in every class for 2-3 weeks straight. More importantly, there’s nothing to look forward to after the tests. For students, it’s straight back to the grind after working relentlessly on midterm prep. Frankly, this creates a less-than-happy atmosphere as students are feeling overwhelmed and overworked.
One negative side of having midterms earlier in the school year is that creates a longer second semester. This imbalance could be seen as a major problem to some, but I think it’s actually a good thing. The first semester should be slightly shorter as it takes a while for students to readjust to the school atmosphere. A shorter first semester makes it easier on students, especially freshmen who have no foresight of what they are heading into.
If we were to change our midterm schedule, there would most likely be a change in the start and end of the school year. U of D starts school in mid-August and gets out in late May. With all the changes this school is undergoing, I think this one could end up being very popular and beneficial.