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The UltraViolet

Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

To kill a mocking-book
To kill a mocking-book
February 21, 2024

One Down, many more to come

FINAL EXAM: Catherine '16 works diligently on her Introduction to U.S. History exam. Students like Catherine arrived on the last exam day to take the test. Photo by Suhauna '14

On Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, 7th graders took a U.S. history midterm exam in Blake Hall to review what they learned during the first semester.

Ever since the 7th grade girls heard the announcement from their teachers in November, many girls, eager to get A’s, set aside time to study for the exam.

“I have been studying for about half an hour each night,” Sabrina ’16 said in early December. She mentioned that she found studying for something besides her typical schoolwork stressful.

Before the midterm, some students said they were anxious, but others said they were excited because exam day marked the last day of school before winter break.

“[It’s] not really intimidating. [I’m] more excited and hopeful for the winter break,” Elliott Brooks ’16 said . She said she felt that the test was going to be long but fair if she studied.

Several 8th graders said they still remember how they felt about taking midterms for the first time.

“I was scared because I never had midterms before,” Isabelle “Izzy” ’15 said.  Izzy said she studied for 15 minutes to half an hour each night. Ahn and others mentioned that their efforts paid off when the date of the exam arrived.

“I am so glad the exam is over. That was really stressful,” Beatrix ’16 said. She said that she is relieved that she no longer has to spend extra time studying for the midterm.

Although some students said they felt relieved after the test, others said they regretted having studied for such a long time.

“I feel very disappointed because everything I studied wasn’t on the test,” Alanna ’16 said.

Students were not the only ones who said they felt pressured with the test coming up. Teachers said they were working hard on preparing the actual test.

“I spend a lot of time trying to ensure that the types of questions I write for the midterm exam reflect the main themes and topics we have covered in class. I want to make sure that the questions are fair,” history instructor Helen Mendoza said.

Mendoza said she tries to maintain a calm presence in the room during exams to help the girls focus on the test and not become nervous.

Other teachers said that watching their students take the test can be quite memorable.

“Some bring a favorite stuffed animal, some line up their pencils, pens and erasers on their desk,” 7th Grade Level Dean Sandra O’Connor said. “Some girls are fidgety in their chairs, while others will sit still. Some will chomp on their nails while taking the exam while others will chew on their pen or pencil.”

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