Introducing midterm finals as a possible alternative

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Introducing midterm finals as a possible alternative

Mr. Hoffman giving a thumbs up after handing out his midterm final.

Mr. Hoffman giving a thumbs up after handing out his midterm final.

Jeremy Ramsey

Mr. Hoffman giving a thumbs up after handing out his midterm final.

Jeremy Ramsey

Jeremy Ramsey

Mr. Hoffman giving a thumbs up after handing out his midterm final.

Jeremy Ramsey, Sports Editor

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As the third quarter comes to a close, the end of the school year is just around the corner. Before students have the opportunity to relax for their summer break, they must endure semester exams, which can be a daunting task for most.

Students must take anywhere from five to seven finals each semester. Regardless of the number of finals a student is taking, they must look over the vast amount of content in order to do well on each one. And with final exams being a large part of students’ grades, it can bring a lot of stress and overwhelming pressure.

While teachers typically start some type of review a couple of days before the final, it is still hard for the students to recollect everything they learned throughout the entire semester. Pleasant Valley senior Khaled Ismail said, “A lot of the times, I have a hard time remembering the first units we do at the beginning of a semester. Once the unit test is over, I usually end up forgetting about what was on it.”

There might be a solution to this problem. PV Physics teacher Joshua Hoffman splits his second-semester final into two parts: the first part at the end of the third quarter, and the second part at the end of the year. Hoffman said, “Unlike first semester where the content from day one carries through the entire unit, after spring break second semester, we don’t continue to spiral back to earlier content from the semester simply because the topics are so different.”

Classes, such as Hoffman’s, having two finals, would be greatly beneficial. It would be a more efficient way to test students on their ability to understand the material and its concepts. While this method may not be effective for all classes, in a class that covers a wide variety of material, it would help with the time gap between vastly different topics that were covered.

Hoffman also added, “Students demonstrated a higher success rate when I split the topics than when I had them all together and tested over them at the end of May as opposed to late March.” This is Hoffman’s second year trying this method, and he plans to continue it in the future.

The current system of having a test after the end of each semester can be the best option for some classes, but not all. “I also feel that not every class/course in high school and in college should do the same thing. I do think it is important to expose students to different teaching styles and methods, which includes assessment methods,” Hoffman explained. Teachers need to determine what is best for their specific class and what can benefit their students the most.