Exam Week Returns to Normal After 2-Year Pause, Sort Of


Midterms are coming up quick, quick, quick! Tests are being wrapped up, review packets are all over, and students are hard at work studying. Or do students not need to study at all?

Exam time has always been known as a highly stressful time for many students, no matter which grade they were in or what subject they were taking. Exam week is one of the most anticipated times of the year. However, that may no longer hold true.

January of 2020 was the last time that “proper” exams had taken place, just months before lockdown. The second semester of that year barely existed, as the work was optional and many students did not attempt to do the work for that reason. 

Exams didn’t take place last year either due to the majority of students struggling to learn over Google Meet. Even though students are now back in the classroom and learning better than they did last year, exams still don’t look the same. 

When it was originally announced that midterms were back and would be the same as they once were, there was a large amount of negative feedback. 

“I kind of expected that they would hold exams as normal, but I didn’t want it because I knew this year was going to be weird. But, I was scared going into normal exams because I didn’t know how much we were actually going to be in person,” Junior Audrey Condra said.

Some students even started petitions against having midterms due to the fact that they felt they had not learned enough information to be able to pass an exam. This is due to many students being out with Covid or out from being exposed to Covid. Throughout the last few months, many students missed class for days on end. They struggled to learn the new materials, and struggled to keep up with the workload.

Due to all these factors, how exams were going to be run was back on the drawing board.

A few days later, the final decision was made. The school sent out an email explaining the new way in which exams were going to run. Exams this semester were not going to count negatively towards grades. Meaning that if you fail your exam, your grade will not change. But if you get a good grade on your exam, it will bump your grade up. 

Students were delighted with the decision. “I felt relieved that one of my grades I could try to bring up, while my other grades that were already good, I wouldn’t have to risk them falling,” Condra said.

 Many students felt a great weight lift off of their shoulders. Those who have been struggling to keep grades up all semester no longer had to feel anxious about their exams. 

Even though nobody knows how finals will look this year, students can take the changes to midterms as a tiny victory and as evidence that students have a voice and power to make changes in the community.