by Maddy Lingk | staff writer
Semester exams are right around the corner; they will start May 19 and end on May 30. Students can find more about when their exams are here.
Students can also have up to three exemptions from their exams if they have good grades and attendance.
“I think [the exemption policy’s] pretty fair because if you have the grades necessary to exempt, you show that you already know the information,” senior Annalisa Tracy said.
Tracy shares a similar sentiment towards the attendance criteria, something she believes motivates students to show up and learn. However, students like sophomore Ren Hernandez have a different outlook on it.
“Because if I have a certain grade in that class, then why does the number of days I was or wasn’t there matter,” Hernandez said. “If my grade is high, then that means I’m obviously understanding the material and not you know, falling behind in your class.”
Sophomore Tristen Hoffman finds issue with the fact that some things, like therapy appointments, can’t be exempted.
“A person that I know, a friend of mine, said that they have things they go to for medical purposes and they don’t count for exemptions,” Hoffman said.
Seniors like Tracy will have their exams start earlier than other students because of graduation, but for most students May 30 is the last day of school. This means that students who are not seniors are attending a one day school week.
“Alright, this is just annoying and prolonging our school year, which I don’t think anybody wants,” Hoffman said. “Yes, it’s only one day, but like what’s the purpose at this point?”
According to Hernandez, they also do not like the additional day.
“It makes me want to riot,” Hernandez said.
Moreover, semester exams take up 20 percent of a student’s grade, making them much more important than the average test.
“I think that might be a little much because then again, even if you had really good grades like throughout the whole year and then you bombed the exam that could mess you up pretty bad,” Tracy said.
Hoffman also finds the percentage excessive and suggests that it should be a maximum of ten.
“I don’t have much of an issue with it myself, but I know that a lot of kids would not like that,” he said. “So I definitely sympathize with those feelings and I think that it should not be as much as it is.”
With the exam being such a large part of a student’s grade, it can often create a dramatic shift in points. Although for many students like Tracy, exams never have had a huge impact.
“They normally end up like maybe raising it one or two points, but they never change it like drastically, not my experience at least,” she said.
In Hoffman’s case, exams give him a chance to bring up low grades.
“And the classes I don’t do good and I do pretty bad in [the exams] do actually really kind of get me to a certain level where I need to be,” he said.
On the other hand, Hernandez finds that their exams can have a negative effect on their grades.
“And like I forgot what it was but I’m pretty sure it was high 80s, low 90s,” they said. “And then I got like an 85, 83 on the semester exam and it brought it down to an 84 and I hated it.”
Hoffman finds that exams can be quite annoying, especially because students are prepared to go into summer break.
“It’s very draining at times, but can be very beneficial, especially if you have a low grade or you’re playing the getting into Harvard game.”