Students are busy with final papers, getting ready for exams and worrying what we’ll do with our summers, and beyond. Many students are seeing their schedules begin to get even more hectic, as they scramble to find time to go to class, work, make time for the higher than normal amount of assignments at this time of year and maintain some semblance of a social life. What we don’t have time for is the ridiculous fiction of exams that take place now, but that some professors continue to call midterms. This is a petty issue I know, but that’s why we have the Heckle column.
Exams are just around the corner, so there’s no point in assigning a class a midterm exam now. There is a whole period of a few weeks specifically devoted to giving students time to study and write exams. By not taking advantage of the official exam period, professors that continue to have midterms in the extremely busy period before exams are adding unnecessarily to an already stressful period for most students.
The worst culprits are those professors who have assigned a “midterm” before the exam period, and still have some assignment due during the official exam period. This state of affairs really is the worst of both worlds, as students have to scramble to finish an assignment before the exam period, and see no reward for that stress.
What is the point of this system for professors? Whether they have exams before or during the exam period they still have to mark them, so they’re not getting out of any work. It would be a better idea to have an exam a few weeks earlier, when students are less busy and can focus more effectively on studying for your exam.
This may be the most petty part, but why do people continue to call these exams “midterms” anyway? We are well passed the middle of the term, so if you’re a professor who wants to hold exams before the finals period call them exams, call them quizzes, but I think we can all agree that using the phrase “midterms” is a little bit annoying.
It might seem like a non-issue, but when exams are scheduled has a real impact on students. There is an exam period for a reason, and professors who ignore that and have midterms so close to that deadline is not only annoying, but contributes to the high-stress environment that students in live in this time of year. Professors, I know you want to continue to call them midterms, so let’s make a deal. If you put midterms in the middle of the semester, when I have less assignments due, I’ll actually study for them, since I won’t have several papers to write.