Why Mercy should not have midterms


Illustration by Tomi Um

With one cohort taking exams before another, and with some students testing remotely, it is possible that certain students will have more advantageous testing conditions.

With all the adaptations made this school year because of the coronavirus, each new day is very unpredictable. One aspect of the school year that many students have been curious about is whether they will be required to take midterms at the end of the current semester, with many of them believing that they should not, and I agree.

There are numerous reasons why midterms should not be administered this year, in large part because of the uniqueness of the school setup this year. 

A major concern is that the midterms will be unfair due to the fact that not all students will be able to take the exam under the same conditions. With the two cohorts, one group of students will take the exam a day before the other. Although we’d like to believe that no one would reveal any information about the test with members of the opposite cohort, it is very unlikely that that would happen, which could give one cohort an advantage over their classmates in the other cohort. 

Considering that both cohorts will have to take the exam on seperate days, this would mean that testing would take close to two weeks to complete rather than one, and because midterm exams are so stressful, lengthening the period that students would have to prepare would put even more pressure on students.

Additionally, there are GOAL students who are doing all their learning remotely because they do not want to risk exposure by attending in-person classes, which means that they would be taking their final exams at home, potentially giving them an advantage over their peers who are taking the exam in person.

The same could be said for tests and quizzes, but it’s impossible to make everything perfectly fair; however, midterms make up such a significant percentage of a student’s grade, and I think it would be too unfair to administer the exams this semester considering not all students would be tested under the same conditions, which could make a substantial impact on one’s grade.