Stress has been one of the hottest topics going around in Student Government. The Student Government Executive Committee has been issuing many surveys to the GHS student community to evaluate their thoughts on the current midterm schedule and to determine student stress levels before and after the exams.
Before midterms, the Student Government Executive Committee sent out a Pre and Post-Midterm Stress Surveys for students to fill out. In total, there were 790 responses for the Pre-Midterm Stress Survey and 593 responses for the Post-Midterm Stress Survey.
Regarding midterm-related stress in the Pre-survey, 54.6% of the 790 responses said that midterm-related stress negatively impacts academic performance on midterm assessments. The Pre-survey also showed that students were mostly stressed about, “the time-constraint to do large amounts of work before and during midterms, the fact that midterms count for a large portion of my grades, and all the assignments, tests, projects, etc. due before the midterms.”
In the Post-survey, the Executive Committee asked questions on whether or not a day off before or after midterms would allow students to perform better on exams. They also asked whether students believe midterms reflect their academic ability, and the level of mental exhaustion the day after the final midterm exam on a scale of 1-5. 74.5% of students believed that a day off before the first midterm exams would make a difference, and a resounding number of 90.9% of students believed that a day off after midterms would alleviate the level of mental exhaustion. The questions that were stated above will be presented to the Board of Education by Headmaster, Dr. Winters. Whether or not the Board of Education will implement any change, these surveys are a major step towards improving the midterm experience.
In terms of relieving Midterm Stress, Wellness teacher Kathy Steiner says, “What I think would help [with midterm stress] is to go to class everyday, be on top of your work, pay attention, do not procrastinate, and get help along the way when you need it. That way you’re always in control leading up to the midterm, or project, or whatever the assessment is.” Continuing on, she said, “Stress is always going to be there, and assessment is a part of life, stress is a part of life.”
On the topic of getting rid of midterms however, Steiner had an interesting point of view. “Sometimes a midterm is needed, sometimes maybe just a project might be the way to assess what kind of learning has happened during the semester.”
The general consensus between teachers and students on midterm stress, seems to be that teachers need to provide midterms to students in a way that alleviates midterm-induced stress, and that a midterm is not always the right option for every single class. Perhaps with the rise of this topic in Student Government, midterms may be less stressful in the future.