Midterms are a very stressful time of year for all students. The exams can vary from verbal, physical, written, etc. Students take this exam at the end of the first semester to review each topic they have covered from September through January. At Malden High, midterms are spread out over three days. This year on the first day, the students took their period one, two, and three midterms. On the second day, they took periods four and five; and on the third day, they took periods six and seven. Malden High’s midterms and finals count as 10% each of a student's final grade for the year.
As a new student to Malden High this year, the transition was challenging, but as time went on I found it easier to make my way around the school and I became more comfortable. The stress became really heavy at times, so midterms added more of a weight on my shoulders. Nevertheless, having the tests spread out over a week was really helpful and left time for me to study.
Personally, midterms are the time of year where I feel most pressured. I have trouble finding the time to study, as well as remembering almost every topic we’ve covered throughout the year so far. However, I feel as though Malden High's handle on student’s stress is far better than the middle school I attended. During the exams, the staff brought in therapy dogs to help the students and had other fun activities during school to relieve stress. Not only that, but the teachers provided a lot of review and study time prior to the tests.
Midterms can also be a struggle for those who choose to do a sport. Student-athletes tend to have more stress regarding their grades and their performance in their sport... Sports are an outlet for me to get my energy out and distract myself from the hard work we do during the day. During midterms, my cheer team had practice from 4:45 pm to 6:45 pm. I used my practice as a way to work out my stress and put my feelings towards something else rather than school work
Sofia Sorrento, a freshman at Malden High, took six midterms this year. She claimed the tests made her feel “pretty nervous,” and that midterms did not make her feel any better. Her confidence varied between days and different tests. There are many different ways to stay on top of your studying, so Sorrento’s way of studying was reviewing each study guide and making or studying Quizlets before her exams. Sorrento has not participated in any extracurriculars this year yet, so she had more time to review and prepare herself. She feels as if her teachers gave her a good idea of what is to expect on her tests, but claims that “[she] had to find ways to study by [herself].”
As for Julia Ferreira, also a freshman at Malden High, she explains how she felt very stressed. Ferreira claims she felt “overwhelmed” and that she thought she was going to fail. Different from Sorrento, Ferreira participates in many after school activities including two orchestras, church, and music lessons throughout the week. Due to this, she thought it made her more stressed because she had less time to study, or she stayed up very late the night before an exam. Teenagers require about 8 to 10 hours of sleep, so for those who participate in after school activities, it is a struggle to obtain the hours we need to sleep. Ferreira stated she “would have to stay up really late to study since [she] had those things to do after school” which affected her performance on her test, leading to her timid feelings towards her grades.
Clearly midterms are dreaded by most students, but there are ways to make them not as hard on us. Teachers can provide more help or more of a heads up on what is to expect, sports teams can be more flexible with practices, and students can focus their energy towards studying and getting caught up if needed.
If you would like to learn more about the stress relief activities offered by Malden High during midterms week, click here.