Exams approach

Exam dates take place before holiday break this year


Sofia Hemingway

As exams near, junior Sofia Hemingway studies. “[I think the exams will be] harder this year because I feel unorganized and lost with so many of my classes online,” Hemingway said. She and her family plan to travel west during exam week.

Danielle M Carlisi, Social Media Manager

This year presents changes to lots of aspects of school, including midterms as their dates approach.

“[Earlier exams] should make for a more relaxed holiday break once the exams are over because students won’t have to be worrying about studying over break and teachers can utilize holiday break as needed to have sufficient time to thoughtfully grade,” AP English Language Composition teacher Craig Pajak said.

Normally, midterms occur after the holidays, but this year they occur right before holiday break. Students take exams on Dec. 18, Dec. 21 and Dec. 22.

“From a teacher perspective, it’s a bit challenging because we, in effect, began a week later than normal because of the laptop distribution/training week to start the school year, and we have to be prepared now to end the semester earlier while also having to constantly adjust plans due to the remote teaching format,Pajak said.

Holiday break allowed for students to take time and prepare, but now students have about two weeks between Thanksgiving break and exams to study on top of doing their regular homework.

“I hate doing study guides over break. Getting [the exams] out of the way is nice,” junior Sofia Hemingway said.

From this year moving forward, the earlier exam dates Utica Community Schools implemented might be permanent depending on the feedback from students and teachers. After all, these exam dates are new territory for the school considering the exams never took place before holiday break in Eisenhower’s history.

“It’s hard to know how the change will affect student scores, given that we have no data to measure the success rate yet,” Pajak said. “I think it’s a situation where, once we all get used to the shift (assuming exams will continue to be before holiday break every year going forward), we will adjust well.”