The Return of The Unspeakable

After exams came to a halt in the previous school year, they make their return to demonstrate students academic integrity.

Students are taking their exams Monday and Tuesday the week before Thanksgiving. Exams were cancelled last year.

Students are taking their exams Monday and Tuesday the week before Thanksgiving. Exams were cancelled last year.

Olivia Schelling, Co-Editor

 Tension rises across the school. Exams are here. Grand Ledge High School brought back exams after they came to a halt in the previous school year. Exams are a test at the end of each trimester to show how well a student retained information from each of their courses. Most high school students take 5 exams each trimester with an exception of students who do not have a full schedule at GLHS. 

  Due to the pandemic and virtual/hybrid learning, administration found some logistical issues regarding administering final exams. There were lots of concerns with academic integrity. With all of the chaos, this may have been a relief to some students. 

  “Also, with students at home, there were multiple variables impacting the learning environment for students. In classrooms at the high school, most learning environments are typically the same for all students, whereas some students’ homes include many additional distractions to varying degrees. This meant that not all students truly had the same opportunity to be successful on a high-stakes snapshot of their learning. With the high stress of the 2020-2021 school year, we also wanted to avoid one additional stressor for our students,” stated Dr. Wright, the principal of GLHS. 

  Grand Ledge High School administration decided to bring back exams during the 2021/2022 school year. Staff wanted to make this school year as normal as possible. 

  “While final exams are not always comfortable, there is comfort in getting back to traditions and procedures that staff, students, and parents are familiar with,” announced Dr. Wright. 

  Since exams are returning, teachers have a lot to do to prepare. Mrs. Karrer, a math teacher at GLHS, is preparing for not one, but two different course exams. Karrer teaches both AP Statistics and Probability and Statistics. Despite the year off of exams, teachers have been planning this trimester’s exams since before the school year started. Exams, especially for those who teach multiple subjects, take a lot of time and effort. A lot goes into determining what information needs to be tested on. 

  “I choose or write questions that link to each one of the learning targets I plan to teach throughout the trimester. It takes MANY, MANY, MANY hours to properly select appropriate questions for the exam and the review. I make the exam multiple choice so I am able to grade it quickly as the trimester ends that day.” mentioned Karrer. 

  As a teacher, Karrer was excited to have an accurate measure of the information students are retaining. Teachers may have felt that last year caused students to not take tests honestly, which then caused a feeling of blindness. Having exams this year will allow teachers to reflect on their students and their teaching abilities. 

   “I have confidence in my students. They know the concepts and have learned and built their knowledge successfully throughout the trimester. I’m excited to see how they do and to use that information to help me plan for next trimester,” exclaims Karrer. 

  Students may feel differently about exams. One Senior, Mitchell Carlson, has been taking exams since he was in 8th grade. The 2020/21 school year was definitely out of the ordinary for him. Nevertheless, students should feel confident in their abilities. 

  Due to online learning, testing dishonesty arose. Students used the internet and notes to their advantage. Believe it or not, even Carlson used Google to look for answers. Preparation for exams will be substantially different this year. 

   “I think the lack of true exams last year compared to previous years changed my study habits for the worse, so I had to turn that around and work hard like I would’ve had it been a normal school year,” said Carlson. 

  Exams may take a toll on students. They can bring stress and several different emotions. Students should not be afraid to ask for help going into exams. Other students and staff may be able to help relieve stress and aid in learning before exams take place.  

 “Study. More than just the night before. In addition to that though, a simple exam won’t make or break your future, so take it seriously, but remember that this score doesn’t define who you are.” states Carlson. 

 Although exams can be a scary thing, they provide feedback for teachers and students. As students and staff transition into the next trimester, will exams become easier? The world may never know… until next trimester, that is.