One of the more stressful feelings in a student’s life is the pressure of an upcoming test. Not knowing if you know enough to pass coupled with the piles of other assignments from different classes makes for a difficult period of studying. During finals week, this is managed by the strict schedule of tests and the decline in number of assignments. However, the same cannot be said for midterms.
Although midterms don’t always bear the same weight as finals do, they’re arguably as stressful. Due to the inconsistency of midterm schedules, Northwest should implement a midterms week similar to finals week.
Of course, finals week is stressful. A week completely dedicated to hefty exams is quite demanding. However, class loads have lightened enough for students to get those crucial study hours in, and the entire semester leading up to finals is used for preparation.
Larger universities like Princeton, Duke and Minnesota all have designated midterm weeks, allowing students extra preparation time. Truman State University even has a midterm break, where classes are canceled the Thursday and Friday of its designated midterms week. Northwest could learn from these academically successful institutions and implement something similar.
For midterms, a student’s workload is a lot more dense. In addition to the test preparation, students have to continue to work on assignments due the same day as the test. If that wasn’t enough, midterms’ lack of uniformity allows professors to assign midterms differently from others.
Having a midterm week could eliminate some workload stress by giving students somewhat of a homework break. Students would be able to focus on getting the highest scores on their tests, and afterward, be able to get back to regular assignments.
The University released midterm grades Oct. 4, yet most students still haven’t taken a midterm. It’s not fair to students for having no preparation time on top of their ordinary class work, and it’s equally not fair to instructors who frantically catch up on grading just to get a midterm test in.
The tests would be the only grade they’d need to finalize in order to get midterm grades to their students. Additionally, this would aid in the instructor's assessment in how their teaching methods are working for the entire class.
If assignment grades are low, maybe students need less assignments. If test scores are low, maybe students need better methods to learn the material. The main goal is to educate students and make sure they can earn a high enough grade on the final to move on in their college journey. The University should be striving to help its students learn as much as they can while they’re here, so try to help.
Northwest regularly emphasizes its belief that mental health is important. With the stress of normal classes, tests and whatever else goes on with students outside of campus, mental health often takes a backseat and suffers. A great way to help students and reinforce a mental health stance is to take some pressure off of students when they need it most. This doesn’t have to just be a week strictly devoted to midterms.
There could be a week of events before midterms to encourage students to relieve their stress in healthy ways and remind them that nobody is alone. All students are struggling with the weight of classes.
Students experience enough during the semester, and sometimes we just have to roll with those punches. However, students would appreciate it if Northwest implemented a designated midterm week to focus solely on studying and tests. We think the instructors would appreciate this, too.