Staff and Students React to Midterm Testing Week


Yoomin Sung studying hard for midterm week.

Hailey Lanari , Managing Editor

Monroe-Woodbury High School chose to reinstitute midterm exams this 2022-2023 school year, after not requiring them for the past two years. A block-week schedule was used to administer the exams, along with New York State Regents exams.  

“We had intended on having midterm exams last year. But when the state canceled their exams, we canceled ours. The department chairs and administration decided that it was time to bring them back,” said Mr. Yarmus, assistant principal at Monroe-Woodbury High School. 

Midterm and Regents exams were held during block days from Tuesday, Jan. 24 to Thursday, Jan. 26. This is different from previous years. In past years, there was a four or five-day block week given for these exams. This was changed due to the small number of students taking Regents exams on Friday, Jan. 27 and an administrative decision to only administer midterm exams for classes that end in a Regents exam by June during block week. 

Some students were appreciative of the exams this year.

“I’m not a fan of exams, but it’s good practice for Regents and AP exams,” said Reese Dolan, a junior at M-W. 

Others were aggravated and stressed to see the exams return.

“I wish we didn’t have them this year. Especially now that they are weighted less, it feels kind of pointless,” said Leila Margillo, another junior. 

Ms. Puopolo, a science research and Earth Science teacher said, “I understand why we’re having these exams, and they are important. But it is difficult as a teacher to have to proctor them and take time out of your schedule.” 

Mr. Yarmus recognized both sides to the topic and said, “I can see the benefits of having the opportunity to take an exam, but it’s also a week of school that we’re losing instructional time and time has to be taken out to review. It’s not a clear cut issue.” 

On Jan. 6, the high school released a statement that midterm exams for year-long classes will be five percent of a student’s grade, while semester-long classes will be 10 percent. This is a change from the previous year’s 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively. 

Some teachers felt the weight of midterms should not have been lowered, and that it may have detrimental effects on student’s motivation to study and take the exams seriously. 

“I prefer having a higher grade percentage for exams,” said Mr. DeMarco, an honors and A.P. Chemistry teacher. “Colleges have midterms that are worth around 20 percent of your grade, so I think it’s better for students to get used to having higher stakes exams to motivate them to study.”