Students feel pressure building during midterms 

Students feel pressure building during midterms 

At the end of January, Edison Intermediate School (EIS) was studying hard for math midterms. Math classes were providing study guides and guidance, but how do the tests actually affect the students? 

According to some researchers “if high-stakes tests have not led to improvement by now, will they ever? Two important factors suggest that even if they could in theory, they won’t in practice”(Neill). However, some teachers like EIS eighth grade English Language Arts teacher Mrs. Kimberly Swenson disagree with this viewpoint. She said midterms are helpful to the teachers that administer them: “I think it gives the teachers an idea of how much of their content needs to be mastered.” 

Eighth grade guidance counselor Ms. Amanda Alicastro stated, “I think midterms is a way of reinforcing what has been taught and, for some students, a midterm grade can boost their overall average.” 

When Ms. Alicastro was asked the most common feedback from students about midterms she said, “I would say most students report it causes stress and anxiety, and it’s not a raw assessment about what they learn.” 

As current eighth graders, we believe xams can only represent a sample of what students should be learning. Students must have received a thorough education in order for test results to serve as reliable indicators of actual learning. If training becomes too focused on the small sample that the test covers, the results will be exaggerated and misleading. This shows that midterms are only helpful if the students are learning something, but since students would only be studying for something they have already learned, it is not actually helpful. When eighth grade student Anthony Cabrera was asked if midterms are necessary he declared, “No, not really. Just going over the information I learned in the past is annoying, so I don’t really study for them.” 

Some eighth grade students have been tested on the midterm topics before, so accumulating learnt material in one test causes students to over think. Midterms and tests can cause a lot of stress for students. Midterms are typically a time when students are required to study and take notes, which can be difficult if they’re feeling overwhelmed. 

However, some students think midterms are necessary. Seventh grader Sophia Ballard and sixth grader Oliver explained, “I think midterms are kind-of necessary. Even if we don’t like them, midterms test us on what we know. However, I don’t think midterms should count as a grade.”

Eighth grader Catherine Olivera added, “I think they are a good way of testing the subject, but it can sometimes be difficult.” 

In the end, even though some students agree that the midterms are helpful to understand how well you remember this important information, most students agree that midterms are stressful and they don’t like taking them. Students think they should not be counted as your grade because then maybe kids would be less stressed and actually do better on the test.