Back to In-Person Midterms


TORCH PHOTO/ Sophie Williams

In-person midterms make their return at St. John’s post-virtual learning.

It’s that time of year again – midterms are approaching us fast. Students are back on campus for classes, school clubs and organizations, and this transition back to in-person classes means we are back to in-person midterms as well. Every year, midterms cause students’ stress levels to be at all-time highs, but they may be even higher this year. Students are well adjusted to taking midterms at home, but they will have to take them in-person this year.                     

I prefer midterms to be online rather than in person. Testing conditions on campus are entirely different than at home. In some classes, students were given the luxury of an exam within a larger time frame. Teachers would keep online tests accessible to their students for multiple days. Some teachers would even allow tests to be open-book when they were at home. As a pharmacy major,  I found myself getting used to taking tests at home and appreciating its advantages. I was able to set up my testing area the way I liked. I wouldn’t have to think about commuting to school for the test and factoring the commute time into my testing plan, so that was an advantage. In the comfort of my own home, I can take my tests without a face mask. Taking tests in-person has proven difficult, despite it being my norm most of my life. But I suppose we would have had to take all our tests in person if the pandemic never happened.

Taking tests in-person has proven difficult, despite it being my norm most of my life.

— Sharmin Haque

Since COVID-19 guidelines mandate face masks in classrooms, students have to take tests with a mask on. This can be extremely uncomfortable, especially because I’ve taken tests without a mask for longer than a year. 

It seems like this first month of school was simultaneously long and short. On one hand, it feels like the semester just began. Students are befuddled that midterms are right around the corner. In that context, to take exams that are meant to cover half a semester’s worth of learning seems almost absurd. On the other hand, it seems like the amount of work I’ve completed in this one month surpasses the amount of work I did in the entirety of last year. Commuting to school this year is time-consuming versus taking all of my classes online last year. That’s just the surface of most students’ workload. Students are balancing classes and homework with clubs and jobs. 

Classes have been moving at such a rapid pace that I hadn’t even realized midterms were coming up. I was as blindsided as a lot of students were and I will probably study well into next week, hoping procrastination doesn’t get the best of me.