2018 midterms

Catherine Shen, Co-Editor in Chief

Most of the current high school students in Henrico County have never taken a midterm. For many years, midterms were scheduled after winter break in late January. However, for the past three years, the Henrico School Board had to cancel midterms because of the large amount of class time missed due to the many snow days.
This year will be different. Midterms are now scheduled from December 11 – 14, which is the second to last week before winter break. The likelihood of midterms being cancelled this year will be very low because very few snow days occur in December. Last year, snow fell in December, which leads some to believe that there is a small possibility that midterms will be cancelled this year. Even so, students should be prepared to take midterms.
Some students are upset that they must take midterms for their first time. They believe that they have not learned enough information in the first two marking periods to be tested by an exam. Seniors are especially stressed because most college application deadlines are in early January, so they must prepare for midterms and finish their applications, all in the month of December.
Other students are excited to take them. They believe that midterms replicate the testing schedules in college, making them a good preparation. Also, students can see how much they have learned and ask teachers for help about the information they do not understand.
This division of opinions is also present in teachers. Some teachers believe that they are pressed for time to teach all of the information that will be tested on the midterms. They must teach at a faster pace to prepare their students. Also, they will have extra grading over their winter break. However, some teachers believe that midterms can be beneficial because they can see what their students have trouble understanding and focus more time on the issue.
As a senior myself, I do see the value in taking midterms early. However, students have missed several days due to hurricane warnings. This has given teachers less class time to teach the students and prepare them for midterms. I believe that if students miss any more days before midterms, then the county should cancel midterms for the fourth year in a row.
The students and teachers will have to experience these midterms before a decision on the practicality and effectiveness of these exams can be made.