Students React to New Midterm Schedule

Helene Usher, Editor

After a yearlong hiatus due to the coronavirus, HMHS students took their midterms for the 2021-22 school year from January 27th to February 1st. This year, district administrators implemented a new midterm schedule. In the past, they were condensed into three days (during the 2019 school year, a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), with each day dedicated to a particular subject (for example, English and World Language on the first day, Math and Science on the second, and Science on the third). Exams started at 8am, were approximately two hours long and there was no lunch break in between. 

There was nothing inherently wrong with this schedule, however if students took more than one class in a given subject, they had to stay later, meaning that they might have had more than two tests a day. However, once students finished their Friday exams, they had no required homework or studying, so they got to relax over the weekend. This year’s testing schedule was spread out over the course of four days. Students took no more than two exams a day as the testing blocks aligned with class periods (Thursday the 27th was periods one and two, Friday the 28th was periods three and four, etc.). Exams were only ninety minutes and also started later than prior years (at 8:30am), allowing students to sleep in or get in some extra studying in the library, which was designated as a “silent study space” for the week. Finally, although it was a short break, students did have the opportunity to eat lunch and even visit therapy dogs in the A-gym before their second exam each day. 

While there were many great things about this new schedule, the weekend in between the second and third test day was very stressful. Nevertheless, it allowed for more quality study time, which paid off on test day. I asked some juniors and seniors (who have experienced both schedules) which schedule they preferred and why. See below for their thoughts! 


“I really liked this year because I feel like there was more time. For instance, if I didn’t have a midterm in the morning, I could sleep in a little bit and come into school and study for my midterm in the afternoon”

– Jessica Goode, senior

“I liked having the freshman year schedule. Even though we did have more time [this year] to study for 5th-8th periods, I liked having a weekend completely off. I would rather start earlier and have longer exams than study over the weekend. It was much less stressful and more relaxing to have a weekend as opposed to finishing in the middle of the week when we had to get right back to school the next day” 

– Sophie Levine, junior

“I prefer the schedule from this year because of the weekend included [that eased] the initial studying load. Scheduling the midterms by periods, rather than subjects, was helpful with subjects I’d doubled up on. I did, however, wish that we had a weekend or break the day after midterms were done, since it was hard to immediately jump back into the normal workload”

– Anonymous, junior

“I liked this midterm schedule! It was nice to have 4 days spread out as opposed to all in the same week. This gave room for extra studying and review and spread out time between exams!”

– Kathryn Ward, junior