The Reality of a 10% Midterm

The pros and cons of lowering midterm and final exam grades from being worth 20% to 10% of each semester’s grade


Neirad staff

Many students are debating the practicality of hours of studying to prepare for something that barely impacts one’s grade.

Julia Blake, Editor-In-Chief

During the height of COVID-19, most schools in the area, including DHS, canceled midterms in the 2020-2021 school year. Now that we have returned to “normal”, the expectation was that midterms would go back to being worth what they were worth pre-Covid, at 20%.

Principal Dunn confirmed early this week that midterms are still happening and at 10% rather than 20%.

This follows the decision regarding last year’s midterm. At that time, the pandemic was still spreading rapidly.  Additionally, students set up a petition to cancel midterms which received over 1,000 signatures. In an effort to reduce the stress during unprecedented times,  midterms were changed to 10%.

With this policy continuing into this semester, it begs the question, will midterms ever return to 20%?

An image of the upcoming midterm schedule. (Neirad Staff)

Regardless, with midterms being worth 10% of semester grades it reduces stress and alarm surrounding midterms.

For people with anxiety or other stress-related conditions, a midterm weighted 10% is an excellent practice of a real midterm with less burden on the grade.

If a student got a 0% on the midterm, their semester grade would only suffer one letter grade deduction.

— Mr. Nestruk

Mr. Nestruk, a physics teacher in the building, claimed that if a student got a 0% on the midterm, their semester grade would only suffer one letter grade deduction. For a cumulative test for the entire semester, the idea that the worst possible consequence is one letter grade is shocking. Similarly, Mr. Buchta, a math teacher, argued that the midterm was worth less than an average chapter test that we took during the year.

Since 10% lowers the impact the midterm has on our final grades, it can be seen as a great opportunity to practice a long testing environment for the future.

In college, midterm season is no joke. During late November and into December, semester classes are wrapping up and everyone is anxiously waiting to go home for the holidays. Without previous experience with a midterm, college midterms must be extremely overwhelming.

Midterms aren’t fun, but taking them in a low-stress environment helps us prepare for college and beyond.

Which Midterm Scenario Would you Prefer?


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