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No More Midterms and Finals!


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Every student knows it. That time of year when they have a week full of tests. What are these? These are midterms and finals. These tests are supposed to measure your memory of what you have learned that year. But they do not. All they do is stress students out, causing drug usage and cheating. Therefore they should be eliminated. Studies show that other schools that have gotten rid of midterms and finals have benefited from doing this greatly.

Drug Usage
          Midterms and finals cause a lot of students to become stressed. With each exam counting as ten percent of their final grade, many students become worried. Most students participate in extracurricular activities. So when are they supposed to have time to study for these? Last year, I had a five-hour drama club rehearsal every day that we had midterms, so trying to find time to study was nearly impossible. Because of the lack of time to study, many students turn to amphetamines to help them focus and stay awake. These were originally used to treat people with attention deficit disorder, but now they are every student’s new study buddy. A junior admits that she takes these because ‘when it gets down to this time of semester, I can’t take any risks’”(The Maroon). Drugs are never the answer to solving your problems, but because of finals and midterms many students think that they are.
 
Cheating

          Many students feel pressured to do well on midterms and finals. However, since they do not have enough time to dedicate to studying adequately, students resort to cheating. Cheating is to act dishonestly or unfairly to gain in advantage. This can easily be done before or during an exam. Students often have friends who have the same teachers as them. Therefore, if one takes the midterm or final before the other one, they can just ask each other what is on the test. Also, a lot of students have older siblings who have had that teacher in the past. Therefore, the older sibling can show their midterm or final to the younger one. Unless the curriculum has changed, this is probably the same midterm or final the younger sibling is going to be taking and “how far of a leap is it to share that test with your best girlfriend who might not be lucky enough to have an older sibling?”(Basking Ridge Patch). Also, students can simply look at another student's exam while they are taking theirs or quietly converse with other to compare answers. The high expectations placed on students to succeed cause them to resort to these terrible tactics of academic dishonesty.

Results of Eliminating Finals and Midterms
          The Howard County High School, the Bernards Township and Somerset Hills Regional school districts, and Timberlane Regional High School, have all eliminated midterms and finals. The results of this have been positive, and “teachers applaud the move, saying they...won't lose a week of instruction to midterm exams”(The Baltimore Sun). This would be beneficial to Wilmington High School because we could enhance our amount of learning. The amount of weeks wasted reviewing for midterms and finals, and then taking them, is ridiculous. Instead, if we had quarterly exams, this would “provide teachers with an 'early warning for students who may be struggling'”(The Bernardsville News), we could have more instructional time because “they could be taken in one-hour periods, – adding only 18 minutes to the normal class length – and be done within full school days” (The Bernardsville News), and “having the exams on a quarterly basis would also soften their impact on the final grade” (The Bernardsville News) because they would each count as five percent instead of midterms and finals which count as ten percent. Because of the benefits described above, Wilmington High School should have quarterly exams instead of midterms and finals.

Why Midterms and Finals should be Eliminated
           Midterms and finals should be eliminated. The amount of stress they cause makes students do things they wouldn't usually do, such as use drugs and cheat. If we had quarterly exams, students would feel less pressure because the amount of information they are being tested on would be less. Also, with quarterly exams, there would be more time available for teachers to educate students. Clearly, midterms and finals are an ineffective way of accessing someones knowledge on a subject, and bring about cheating and drug usage. Therefore, they should be replaced with quarterly exams to more accurately assess someones apprehension, and to lessen the worry of its effect.

"Google Images." Google Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www.google.com  
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"Timberlane Decides to Drop Midterm, Final Exams » Latest News » EagleTribune.com, North   
          Andover, MA." EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.
         <http://www.eagletribune.com/latestnews/x2014325636/Timberlane-decides-to-drop-midterm-
          final-exams>.



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