Seniors lack incentives for taking midterms

Amanda Roth

Adrian Grabowski, Advertising Manager

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With third quarter underway and midterm exams completed, seniors are contemplating the rationale behind taking these exams. Seniors were required to show up to each of their exam periods and take the 90 minute tests that do not count towards anything.

Students tend to study for their freshman, sophomore and junior year midterm and final exams because these exams are crucial for getting a good final grade at the end of the year. Seniors on the other hand have confessed to not studying as rigorously, if at all for some or all of their classes.

After completing college applications, there are no incentives for seniors for getting good grades considering that midterm exam scores are not a part of the mid-year report that are sent to colleges. After first and second quarter grades are in, seniors are forced to wait until they receive their admission decisions.

Although this may be the case, midterm and final exams may be an effective way to demonstrate the retention of the material learned in class all year, especially when in some classes different concepts build on each other.

“It is easy to do well on mini quizzes and tests but to show cumulative knowledge of the material and put it all together is a whole different test that I believe all students should take,” psychology teacher Michael Baxer said.

 Midterm and final exams also force seniors to keep up good study habits and help prepare for exams in college however the degree to which these exams can actually prepare seniors for college is questionable.

There is a strong opportunity cost for seniors having to come in for the exams. The multiple hours spent sitting in the classroom could be used to do something productive that is actually meaningful.

Seniors do, however, have the privilege of being exempt from taking final exams if they maintain a 90 or higher in their respective classes because it shows that they have understood the material over the course of the semester.

“Exemption from exams serves to motivate and reward all students to achieve at a high level. Personally, I know that I worked hard to avoid the midterms and finals. I wanted to get good grades, but my primary motivation was to avoid those big intimidating tests. Without this incentive, I’m sure that students’ effort, motivation, and grades would drop significantly,” Baxer said.

Students might work hard to achieve exceptional grades to avoid taking exams but ultimately the grades they get over the course of the semester up until the final exam including the grade they get on the exam is irrelevant because they have no meaning towards college. Therefore, it’s pragmatic to completely eradicate these exams for seniors.