Mayfield’s No Midterms Policy Widely Accepted

Gracie Sandman, Print/Online Editor-in-Chief

Imagine a winter break spent locked in your bedroom for hours on end, foregoing outings with family and friends, trying to absorb as much material as possible. Such was, and is, the scenario at many schools where an entire semester of learning is measured by a single cumulative test called a midterm. 

Rather than a holiday season for families to spend the holidays together, relax, and have fun, bleary-eyed high school students frantically cram, knowing the exam they face could make or break their semester grade. Mayfield Senior, however is the exception. 

“I like not having midterms,”. said Drew Valentino ’22. There is less stress and I feel that the assessments are better made after more time.  

“I’m grateful to not have them. It’s very difficult to have time to prepare to go over material and take the tests and then grade them. I can’t speak for every discipline, but my curriculum is already packed so you would lose three weeks. I don’t think another big test encourages learning,” said world history teacher Sister Pegeen Connolly.

Not having midterms may make their lives less stressful, but in the place of midterms comes projects, tests, and other large assessments. Certain classes, such as honors chemistry, had a “Semester Exam” after winter break that covered everything students had learned in the first semester. Several sophomores expressed their concerns with having a “Semester Exam”. 

“It was a rushed experience,” said an honors chemistry student who chose to remain anonymous. “We didn’t even get the study guide till after winter break so it would have been good to have it before.” Not having midterms could swamp students in other forms of assessments. 

“I haven’t seen a change in stress levels and I think that’s due to the other creative assessment tools teachers use to assess learning,” said school nurse, Cathy Cota. “Assessments, whether they’re called tests, midterms, projects, papers or presentations, have an inherent amount of stress for students,” said Cota. Multiple assessments on the same day or on back to back days increase stress levels. Cota noted that Mayfield has taken steps to create a system to help alleviate this factor.

Part of my job, as well as Ms. Perez and Mrs. Bussard’s jobs, is to help students take care of themselves during assessment time, to become comfortable with the stress of testing and how to best prepare themselves for taking tests,” said Cota. “We are all in this together with the goal of helping our students succeed.”