Student and teachers opinions on midterms and finals

Neel Ved, Staff Writer

This year the midterms and finals will be back at Montclair High School for the first time in over three years. While there are many pros and cons, many teachers differ in opinion on their importance. 

“It won’t affect a student’s grade because it is not heavily averaged like years ago,” said Shauntae Anthony, an English teacher at MHS. At one point a midterm and final would count for more than 10% of a student’s grade.

Anthony pointed out that years ago the tests were heavily affected and were worth much more. “Teachers already assess students in multiple ways in class. However, structured testing such as midterms and finals better prepare students for college when midterms and finals are a requirement.” 

Some of the pros are that taking tests can help students with test-taking strategies and how it is if a student is doing well in the class but then doesn’t do well on the midterms or finals.

 How is it seeing what the student knows if they have had an A the entire year? When Mr.Owen Ambrose, a 9th-grade biology teacher was asked whether taking midterms and finals can help with test-taking strategies, “Doing well in a class isn’t only about understanding content, but also about retaining and being able to work with information outside of the lesson that it was initially taught in. Being asked to engage in “official” midterms highlights that concept. 

It also provides students with a chance to reflect on their needs regarding endurance, retention, and self-advocacy. All of these components will be useful after high school. Many college courses follow a grading system that is based on cumulative testing.” With students having to retain the information they have learned will benefit the student, even more, when taking the test. 

Another, pro to taking midterms is that if a student is doing well in the class but happens to fail the midterms or finals how then do these tests see how the student is doing in the class? Mr.Owen Ambrose, “Grade-wise, doing poorly on the midterm and/or final holds a very low penalty. In some cases a student may be able to maintain an A in a course by following teacher prompts without necessarily learning the material to the point of mastery. Reflective practice is key to maturity and the student in this case would benefit from asking themself why they did poorly on the exam and why such knowledge gaps weren’t apparent to them beforehand.” 

“There is too much stress for studying, and the actual test itself id stressful, in my opinion.” 10th grader at MHS Isaac Archer had said when he was asked about the level of intensity and emotional toll. “I think not because finals and midterms only impact the final grade, which I feel the marking period grade does already.” Archer had said this because they both count for 5% of one’s final grade and it only gets counted toward the final grade.

In the end, it is always good to know the pros and cons of midterms and finals. There are teachers and students who support and don’t support having the midterms and finals. For the tests only counting for 5% of a final grade doesn’t benefit much unless a student is failing the class. On the other hand, the tests can also prepare students for college when it counts for much more than only 5%. It can also help students with test-taking strategies if students have struggled with test-taking.