PRO: Midterms should be canceled for betterment of the students

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Evie Klepp '22, Business Manager

Midterms at the end of a 100 percent virtual semester would be like cherries on top of a cake made of dirt and broken glass.

That may sound a bit dramatic, but it is true. Capping off a semester with record-high failures with an hour and a half long virtual exam could not serve as any benefit to anyone; students or teachers.

I can speak first-hand when I say that this semester, I have retained the lowest amount of information out of any of my years. Content taught in a classroom doesn’t stick with you the same way content taught through a screen does. That doesn’t speak to the effectiveness of the teachers, but the limited flexibility of the platform.

For example, my AP Calculus class. The information taught in this class during the first semester is relatively simple; it’s a combination of slope, area, and algebra that’s previously been taught. But when these simple concepts are taught through a video posted on a Schoology page instead of in class because the teacher doesn’t have enough time to cover everything, they become jumbled. Formulas and theorems become confusing symbols and squiggles. Important information becomes nothing.

So, I would be screwed taking a midterm in that class, as it is a test that relies on knowledge retention.

Not to mention the extra stress midterms put on teachers. Having to create study material, create the test, and score it on top of the overload of end-of-semester work adds a pileup of work that is not beneficial to anyone, especially students who are already struggling.

Some argue that if students are struggling, midterms could serve as a last-ditch effort to improve their grades. However, I’ll put it bluntly: if the virtual school made your grades drop, a virtual school in test form definitely isn’t going to raise them.

The best solution for everyone is to simply have no midterms this year. The stress placed upon everyone in the school system for test scores that is most likely not going to be high is unnecessary and harmful.

CON: Midterms should take place regardless of the learning environment