Semester Test Changes Coming to the District

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By Brandon Hach

Semester tests are given to students to test what they have learned over the semester. This is a stressful time for students as well as the teachers. Students are trying to study as well as handle their everyday lives. Teachers have to go over important subjects as well as make the study guide and tests for the students.

Rachel Franks, a senior at Central, stated how she prefers to study and when. “I usually start studying one or two days before tests. I do this so I don’t cram all in one night. I try and study for two and a half hours each night,” stated Franks. She mentioned that she prefers notecards for studying so after she fills the study guide given out by the teacher, she makes notecards. Franks only has 6 semester tests this semester.

Carolyn Yanda, an English teacher at Central Community School, mentioned some of the differences with standard based grading and what it is. Yanda stated that it is a scale that measure strictly on how the student performs with certain tasks and doesn’t include turning work in late or behavior. Yanda was asked how she likes this new style or grading and her reply was, “I do like it. It is a truer picture of what a student knows and can do. It pinpoints areas of strength and weakness.” Classes that use standards based grading only have to give tests to the students that aren’t proficient on a standard.

Matt Whittle, a freshman at Central Community School, stated how he feels about the new grading system and how he studies for tests. In an interview, Whittle was asked what he thought about standards based grading and he answered, “It has its ups and downs, and at first it didn’t make much sense but now it makes more sense.” Whittle stated that he usually starts studying about a week in advance to make sure he has time to study for all of the tests.

Derek Bergan, one of the 6-12 history teachers at Central Community School, answered how he prepares for semester tests by going back over important topics from the semester. “Most teachers will be giving a study guide to help prepare the students, and answering questions that students may have. Some teachers might play review games as well,” mentioned Bergan. He feels that standards based grading will be a good change because it takes away from semester tests. It will focus more on the understanding of the topic rather than semester tests.

The standards based grading system is getting more and more popular as time goes on. It is changing the old semester tests into more of final days and is becoming more popular at Central Community School.

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