Well STM, you did it. You have made it, hopefully successfully, through one of the most difficult and stressful weeks of the school year – Exam Week. Aside from the validity of all-nighters as a reliable study habit, a major topic of discussion in the aftermath of exams is the new format in which exams are being written.
Before this year, exams were not organized by period. Everyone taking a certain subject would write their exam on the same day, regardless of what period and usually what grade one was in. Occasionally you would have one exam in the morning and another in the afternoon depending on what subjects you had in that semester.
With the new exam schedule, period one classes wrote in their regular classroom or portable on Tuesday morning, followed by period two classes on Wednesday and so on. This sounds like a simpler and more effective way to organize Exam Week, however, it was not received well by some. While students disliked the spaced out exams, the teachers seem to believe the new schedule would work to everyone’s advantage.
Student opinion seemed to vary but, overall, there were two common responses. Some believed the spaced out exams were preferable because students had more time to study and prepare, others believed the extended time periods between exams hurt rather than helped, and some felt a combination of the two. While one might think having more time to study sounds like an advantage, many students preferred having two exams in one day so they could "get it over with" faster.
“I liked [the new system] because the exam was always in the morning and it gave me more time in the afternoon to study for the next day. I liked the old system better though, because when you had two in one day you could come for the morning exam, study with your friends in the cafeteria for the second one, and get them both over with,” said grade 12 student Karyn Mukiri.
Teachers seem to have a more positive opinion of the new schedule. With the exception of writing in portables, they believe that this system works better for students than the former.
“I generally liked it; I thought that it worked. I was surprised to find that students had mixed reactions to it. The con, for me, was writing in portables because there were textbooks to be hauled into the school, and some large classes were too cramped in a portable,” said Ms. Schiestel.
“[Ms. Dyment] thought it was much better for students because no one had two exams in one day and everyone had afternoons off to study. It also provides comfort for students to write exams in their own rooms with their own teachers.”
Overall teachers tentatively predicted better exam scores with the implementation of this new schedule.