Cumulative Tests, AKA Midterms

Cumulative Tests, AKA Midterms

The goal in ridding the Pascack Valley Regional High School District of mid-year and final exams was to ease the anxiety and cumbersome responsibility that lie behind midterm exams. About a year ago, this month and after winter break, students would be inundated with review packets and mid-year projects. However, the new policy that ended midterm and final exams completely stops this issue. Or does it?

Recently, I was handed a review sheet titled, “Cumulative Exam Review” to which I responded, “Is this code for a midterm?” To this, my teacher basically answered, “Yes, Deanna. Students are not completely exempt from mid-year examinations. Get studying.” When I asked why we were being tested, my teacher explained that midterms were necessary to keep students in check with their studies. I was shocked. I went into this school year thinking I would not be held accountable for any type of midterm exam, and I even thought they were banned from being scheduled. Contrary to my belief, I now have two mid-year cumulative exams coming up, even though the idea of midterms was, supposedly, done with.

To hear other opinions, I questioned students around the school.

Senior Kristina Hughes states, “I have a midterm in my physics and math classes. This, to me, is so much more added pressure than last year’s midterms because now, the grade I receive on these exams counts more towards my final grade than the previous 10 percent had. Also, there is less time to prepare for them, but there’s more on the line.”

Junior Jackson Cianciulli says, “I see that they are necessary. But now, administration expects students to study for mid-year exams while keeping up with homework and other tests. If they hope for us to perform as well as students normally would on midterms, they’re expecting too much. It’s not fair.”

In other words, midterms are still haunting the halls of Pascack Hills High School. Is this right? Should teachers be allowed to impose this type of exam, even though students were informed that they were done with?

For now, my fellow Hills students: start studying. Midterms are not over.