Academic changes: From marking periods to semesters

Academic+changes%3A+From+marking+periods+to+semesters

By Melissa Fan, Staff Reporter

After a year of innumerable changes, many academic factors seem to be returning to their pre-COVID “normals.” Although  desks are separated and faces are covered, students are finally back in the classroom and teachers are teaching from the front of their classrooms rather than behind computer screens. Last school year, multiple academic adjustments were made to compensate for the abnormalities bestowed upon the students, and many have evolved to fit the needs of this school year better.

Conestoga has removed midterms and finals for all students, continuing the practice that was implemented last year. Most students seem to have found this as a positive change, seeing how much stress these two tests could cause. 

“During these weeks I was incredibly stressed trying to cram in all the studying. Midterms or finals don’t prove anything about smarts, it only shows how good of a test taker someone is,” senior Rebecca Levin said. “These tests would bring down grades significantly as well. Even though it does prepare you for college, it can cause a lot of stress for a teenager, especially during these times.”

Previously, the school year was divided into four marking periods. Last year, quarters were replaced with a year-long grading system in which students were given one cumulative grade for each class. Some students preferred this style of grading, believing that it gave them more time to boost their grades and recover from any one test.

“I get super stressed with marking period grades and making sure that I’m constantly on top of work. With a full year (grading system) it’s a bit more laid back and I don’t have the stress of losing two points on a five question quiz that will drop me 10 (percentage) points,” sophomore Opal Jawale said.

On the other hand, some students also seem to find that the quarter marking period system was more manageable.

“I feel as if quarter grading for me is definitely preferred because it helps you split the year into manageable bite sized pieces and helps you stay more organized,” senior Ethan Joslin said. “I have just been splitting the semester in half and using that as a sort of benchmark for myself. Some of my teachers have done similar things for us as well.”

Junior Shirslie Gao also mentions how the different grading systems impact making the honor roll.
“I could track my progress in each of my classes per marking period, (and) the chances of you getting an honor roll is greater especially during the first and last marking period when there’s less schoolwork,” Gao said.


Melissa Fan can be reached at [email protected]