Midterms Cause More Harm than Good


The end of the first semester is rapidly approaching, meaning that the dreaded midterms are advancing as well. Some people feel that the midterm is a useful tool that helps students see their learning progress, while others believe that the midterm is unnecessary and does not help the students whatsoever. But while both beliefs have merit, overall the midterm does more harm than good.

The midterm can cause an abundance of stress on students. As reported by American Psychological Association CEO Norman B. Anderson, studies have shown that the age group that is the most stressed has moved from Millennials (18 to 33) to American teenagers. This high level of stress is due to school work and tests, such as the midterm.

Midterm exams create hours of extra schoolwork for students. (Photo courtesy of Autumn Kent)
Midterm exams create hours of extra schoolwork for students. (Photo courtesy of Autumn Kent)

This stress causes students to become nervous and anxious for the big test. Claire Latimer, a sophomore, said, “I’m always nervous for midterms.” However, Latimer suggests that the midterm does help you grasp the content taught, so that you can focus on what you need to review. She says that test is somewhat useful because, “a lot of it ends up being on the final.”

The midterm is often used as a tool to judge where students are progressing academically. Some teachers weigh the midterm differently into their grades, while other teachers simply do not give the midterm at all. The English department does not give the midterm at all. Jenny
Davis, an English teacher, said that the English department decides whether or not they give the midterm. “So some of us do a common assessment each quarter, but it wouldn’t factor in as a midterm,” said Davis.

While some teachers give the midterm and some do not, it still plays an important factor in any student’s academic life. The time spent stressing and studying is an ineffective way of judging the student’s progress so far this year.