The year prior, to my enrollment at RFH, the exam schedule was no different than any other high school’s. From what I understand, students took a mid-term and a final. The mid-term tested the material taught during the first two marking periods, and the final tested the material taught in the last two. These exams last about one school week, and each student would take two exams each day. Students would be permitted to leave after the second exam. My freshman year, however, things changed.
Instead of two exams, there are now four, which means that the close of every marking period is accompanied by 4 days of exams. The tests themselves have been dubbed “quarterlies.” The quarterly schedule differs from the mid-term schedule in a couple of ways. The most glaring difference is frequency. Obviously there are twice as many quarterlies than mid-terms. Another difference is the schedule that is used to administer these exams. Instead of leaving after the second quarterly each day, as is the mid-term tradition, students remain in the school, and have abbreviated periods until two o’ clock. For example, if I’m taking my 3rd and 8th period quarterlies, the rest of the day will be comprised of shortened periods other than 3 and 8.
There is one exception, however. The quarterly that follows the final marking period has a schedule identical to that of a final, where students are allowed to leave after they finish the exams.
There are positives and negatives to both formats of testing. The quarterly schedule is structured around the belief that having twice the number of tests with less material on each test is more conducive to the student learning process. Though a mid-term schedule may be more challenging acedemically, there are fewer tests to study for. It is also important to note the difference in student release times after the exams finish. Sometimes sitting through class after taking a quarterly is harder than the quarterly itself.
It all seems to come down to opinion. If you are a student who can cram successfully, then you would probably prefer taking a mid-term and final. If not, than you might choose quarterlies because less material means less time spent studying. From a student’s perspective, both methods seem equally competent at testing our knowledge. Because I arrived at RFH on the day that the quarterly era began, I cannot support one or the other. All I know is that whether it’s called a quarterly or mid-term, a test is still a test, and tests are not cool.