Administration, teachers design exams to prepare students for future

 

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Fred Schmitz’ seventh period statistics class prepared for their semester exams, which will take place on Dec. 18, 21 and 22. Schmitz said, “I think that this is a good opportunity for them to practice being tested over a large volume of material as opposed to a unit by unit approach.”

Every year at the end of the first semester the school holds exams. These exams are designed to test a student’s knowledge and their progression in each subject.

Principal Paul Waller creates a schedule for the exams so that teachers have an idea of when their exams will be and how lengthy the tests are.

“[I also have] to make sure all the teachers are giving exams and to excuse students if they can’t be here for an exam,” Waller said.

Semester exams are on December 18, 21, and 22, right before holiday break. All classes are required to have an exam or project. The exams are not standardized but the school tries to keep all of the tests generally the same with the curriculum and ideas.

“Within departments they’ll try to stay on the same page with the same courses,” Waller said.

Exams do have to follow the state’s standards for curriculum, test the student’s knowledge, and decide which topics need to be covered more.

“[The exams] have to assess the learning that took place throughout that semester,” Waller said.

Besides standards, Waller stated that the school wants to improve students’ learning and prepare them for the future.

“We do want simulate what is happening in college, so when you do go to college you’ve had some experience studying for a big test,” Waller said.

Math teacher Fred Schmitz prepares his students for exams all throughout the year.

“I tell them that they’re preparing from the very first day and the very first test we take. We do also have a review packet with questions covering the material that’s contained in the first semester,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz sees the exams as a way to keep knowledge fresh in the students’ minds.

“The problem that I see is that students are sometimes very good at studying for one quiz or studying for one test. But when they have to study for six units and put together thoughts for a whole year it’s even more difficult for them to do,” Schmitz said.

Science teacher Heidi Steinbrink shares Schmitz’ opinion, and like him, gives her students a review packet.

“I think it’s good for students to learn how to balance studying and preparing because when you go to college you’re going to have to do this. So this is a better environment instead of being thrown in cold to high stakes college testing,” Steinbrink said.

While studying for exams is good practice, the process is daunting for students.

“I feel that exams are a good way to assess a student’s knowledge, but due to the length of the exams it is very tiresome for the students,” Eli Eckerle (12) said.

This year the exams will start on a Friday and continue into the week after. This has stirred up discussion among students as it cuts through their weekend.

Eckerle said, “If we had the exams on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday it would take away the hassle of the weekend. Then we could just have Monday and Tuesday to review for the exams.”

By Breydon Doubet

doubet.breydon@oakwoodschools.org

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