The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

Midterms: An Era of Inexplicable Stress

Midterms are dreaded by students. At times, it can feel like a student’s entire grade depends on the result from one exam, and this creates an immense amount of pressure— especially if someone is not doing well in the class to begin with. Some people believe it may be better to remove midterms as a whole, while others provide opinions supporting midterms being put in place.

As second quarter comes to a steady halt, there is one final obstacle most students must overcome: midterms. In recent years, debates have raised questions about the very concept of midterms. Are they really worth the hours of stress inflicted upon students, hours added to students’ already stressful lives?

Students’ desks are often filled completely with past tests, homework, and review material in preparation for midterms (Credit: Depositphotos).

Some students and staff members believe midterms are essential for students to learn and grow precisely as what they are— students. Midterms allow students to get used to the stress and anxiety that comes with test taking, especially for finals.

Many believe that midterms are “practice finals” where students experience similar challenges but simply on a lower level, and where the results won’t impact them as much as finals do. So, midterms actually offer an opportunity to prepare for finals, both mentally and academically.

“Midterms can have different impacts on different people depending on how their physical and mental state is during the exam,” said sophomore Elvis Gaitan. “I don’t really mind midterms as they give you a chance to improve your grade— so I try not to stress out too much over them.” 

Midterms also enable students to find what they have been struggling with and fix these problems sooner rather than later. There may be topics that students still feel confused about, and it can be better to get that confusion solved now rather than waiting until the last moment to do so.

Additionally, students may forget the more in-depth units and questions they have from first and second quarter, so midterms can help resolve these problems while they are still fresh in students’ minds. Since midterms require students to know the material from the first half of the year, students will study all of that material, which can ultimately help them during finals preparation. 

Still, others feel that midterms are not at all worth the toll it takes on students. Now, in addition to daily homework and unit tests, students must worry and study for an upcoming midterm which dictates a good or bad quarter grade. In addition, it’s not only one or two classes handing out midterms, but in most cases closer to four or five. That being said, students must complete daily homework, unit based tests, and study for midterms for about half of their total classes all at the same time.

Students must stay calm and motivated in order to take their midterms at their full potential. One problem: no one stays calm (Credit: Weebly).

“I think that midterms are a good way to test a student’s ability to study. However, I also think that midterms are too close together for students to study effectively for all their midterms collectively,” said freshman Alex Goldstein.

The reality of midterms can be especially unfortunate for seniors, who must take midterms with the pressure of both college decisions coming out and  sending mid-year grades to their schools.

Another downside of midterms is that they count for a lot of a student’s grade, so if they do poorly on it the student’s grade will be hit with a tremendous amount of damage. If it gets really bad, a student might consider dropping the class, but there’s only one problem: deadlines for dropping classes were a few weeks before the midterms. Students can’t do much but pray that they can bring their grade up, or their transcript will forever be haunted.

Often, students put far too much pressure on themselves just to get a “good grade” (Credit: Medium).

“I think midterms are alright. I’m still applying to colleges, so if I do bad I’m screwed— but I have a good feeling about them,” said senior Benjamin Ghassabian. He continued, “My classmates don’t put too much pressure on me and they always try to help me do better.” 

Of course, having no midterms at all may not be the solution for all classes, and in some cases it truly is a positive for students. AP Language and Composition, for example, is a class majorly based on reading and understanding the text rather than unit tests. In this case, a midterm would be perfectly fine to most students as they can contribute most of their time to studying for it.

A major problem with midterms is that they are far too close to one another. A potential solution could be to spread them out so that students can focus on one midterm at a time and feel a little bit less pressure. Others still feel like midterms are completely useless, so maybe they should be cancelled for good. For now, students must live through the torments that come with midterms and maybe it is time to realize that grades aren’t something to worry too much about. 

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About the Contributor
Kian Soleymani
Kian Soleymani, Associate Editor
Kian Soleymani is one of Guide Post’s associate editors. He takes difficult courses at North High, ranging from honors to AP’s, with his favorite class being math. Kian also loves to play sports in his free time, participating on the JV lacrosse team and playing outside of school on club shore-2-shore. After school, he enjoys participating in the ping pong team, the robotics team, Model UN, and key club. As someone who wants to challenge himself, he’s constantly trying to improve by making himself and others around him better. 

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