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The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

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Methacton Student Feedback on Midterm Exams 

Methacton+Student+Feedback+on+Midterm+Exams%C2%A0

The Windy Hill sought students’ reactions to their 2024 midterm experiences last month. 

Roughly 50 percent agreed that the tests were as difficult as they expected. About 25 percent of the answerers said the exams were more difficult than anticipated. These interviewees often claimed that the teacher was asking questions about topics not covered in class. 

Close to 25 percent of students said their exams were easier than expected. One student said, “I felt prepared, and they went awesome.” 

Significant changes in the grading system were noted this year, with midterms now specifically marked on report cards and accounting for 10 percent of a student’s final grade. These alterations sparked discussions among students regarding the changes’ impacts on student academic performance and stress levels. 

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Test takers indicated that their math and science exams were more challenging than English and electives such as business or art. 

Twenty-two percent of the survey’s respondents were freshmen, a group that faced midterms for the first time in their academic careers. Most of these ninth graders felt that their hardest midterms were English and math while their easiest was science.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents were sophomores, the first class after the pandemic that will take midterms all four years of high school. Elective midterms were the easiest for these tenth graders with math being the most difficult.

Twenty-six percent were juniors. Like the sophomore class, 11th graders who responded said they scored highest in their elective midterms while having trouble with their math midterms. 

The remaining fourteen percent were seniors, a class that has taken midterms just twice in their high school years. Most of these twelfth graders felt that English was their hardest midterm with science being the easiest. 

With approximately 1,529 students enrolled at the High School, including 376 ninth graders, 384 tenth graders, 387 eleventh graders, and 382 twelfth graders, the survey aimed to capture diverse perspectives that represented this group’s collective opinions. Initiated roughly a month after the exams, the survey collected responses from around 100 students, offering various perspectives on their academic and emotional experiences during midterms. 

When asked about their feelings towards midterms, one student said, “It was a midterm. It was boring and long, but I know it is necessary. It was what I expected.” Others shared similar sentiments, highlighting the challenging yet expected nature of the exams. 

Several students noted their appreciation for the midterm schedule, which allowed them to return home earlier than they would otherwise on a typical school day. Additionally, unexpected snowfall resulted in some of the exams being moved back, allowing more time for students to prepare.

Given that Precalculus is mostly a sophomore and junior course, Mr. Ryan, one of Methacton’s Precalculus and Statistics teachers, after having performed statistical analysis on this year’s midterm scores and comparing them with previous years’ averages, remarks that “we are definitely seeing the effects of the last five years in terms of the development and foundation. It wasn’t a surprise how the outcomes translated; they did trend a little bit lower than in previous years”. He suggested that the regression in midterm scores and overall learning may be due to the less rigorous online instruction that took place during the pandemic.

When comparing this year’s midterms to the previous year, which also happened to be the first year that Methacton conducted midterms after the pandemic hiatus, opinions diverged. While many students felt that this year’s exams were more challenging, citing changes in the new grading system and increased grade ramifications, others perceived them as easier. Those who regarded them as easier said their prior experience with last year’s midterms helped. 

When asked about their feelings towards midterms, one student said, “It was a midterm. It was boring and long, but I know it is necessary. It was what I expected.” Others shared similar sentiments, highlighting the challenging yet expected nature of the exams. 

The Windy Hill, Methacton High School’s student-run newspaper team, wanted feedback from students about their midterm experience. Various methods were used to gather this data, ranging from peer-to-peer interviewing to QR codes posted on flyers throughout the school to appearances in the news journal for five days.

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Rasika Sivakumar
Rasika Sivakumar, Staff Writer, Web Admin

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