Midterms 22/23


Brie Cyr, Staff Writer

The midterms are an annual test given to all students enrolled in high school courses at GHS. The test takes place before the first semester ends and is counted for 10% of a student’s grade. The test takes place over a 90-minute-long period, and tests span over one 4-day week. The first day of testing, students arrive at their first period class at 7:55am, and begin their test at 8:00am. The test continues until 9:30, where the students are dismissed and are given a 30-minute break to roam around the school as they please before their next test. At 10:00, they report to their third period class, and at 11:30, they are dismissed. There is then an hour-long lunch period, where students are free to eat, chat with friends, or study. The rest of the day until 2:40 is spent with teachers administering tests to students who missed their block or were absent the day of their test.

This pattern continues throughout the week. The next day, you will have the exams for periods 2 and 4, then 5 and 7, and finally 6 and 8. There are some exceptions though. If you have a prep period, you are not required to be present for the period, and the same for the time after your second exam of the day (11:30-2:40), and you are eligible to be dismissed early if you have a parent note permitting it.

Sarah Beaudoin, a freshman this year, says that 90 minutes for an exam is an appropriate amount of time to take the exams. “It is supposed to see how well you do under pressure”, she says, “Though, in some classes, I wouldn’t mind extra time.”

The exam week can spark anxieties amongst students, anticipation for the tests. To this, teachers try to ease the students by providing many resources for students to study from, inside and outside of the classroom. “Each teacher prepares you in a different way. Some will give you practice tests while others will say to review your notes, either on your own time or they reserve time during class.” Sarah says that studying for her exams varies drastically among her classes.

“I tend to procrastinate on schoolwork, but I had plenty of time to study outside of school. Each subject is different for me. For my biology class, I went through all of the terms I needed to know and wrote a paragraph for each of them. But, for things like my world history class, I prefer to study from flashcards. For geometry I just did practice problems. It all depends on the student and what subject they are studying for.”

It isn’t just difficult for students though, it’s also a very long week for teachers. When asked about how long it takes to grade papers, Ms. Pinault states, “It usually takes me one to two hours to grade each class’s midterms, so in total about eight to ten hours.” Many teachers have around 5 classes in total, as well as grading the rest of their papers for the end of the semester. Math teachers may have it the easiest, because most of the problems on their midterms are one-word answers, or multiple choice. Teachers who teach literature will have to grade multiple classes worth of essays or text analyses. Some teachers are able to grade during class time, but others don’t to avoid wandering eyes.

“I’ve always thought of midterms as a way for you and your teacher to see what you do well on versus what you need help with, so when finals come around, you can pass.”, says Sarah. “I feel like there is this big stigma around midterms and finals, but if you put the work in, they shouldn’t be that hard.”