Midterms are some of the most chaotic and stressful time for any student. Over the years, students have had to find ways that work for them to get the best grade they can on a hefty test or project, typically scheduled around week five of each term. Due to the pandemic and shift to online setting this quarter, midterms are being handled differently for current students.
With the stay at home order, online classes have reshaped how students have to learn, manage their time and communicate with their professors and classmates. It has changed the way students study and many have never taken an online class before. For this Spring quarter, students have been affected by COVID-19 and midterms are more stressful than ever before.
“Through this whole experience, it’s been tough. My math classes are getting harder and some professors still don’t understand that some tools aren’t obtainable like they would have been on campus. I can’t study the way I used to. I don’t like the idea of submitting an online math midterm or final and not receiving partial credit for answers graded by a professor rather than a machine,” said fourth-year math major, Samantha Valencia.
For many math majors like Valencia, they face the same predicament of how they receive credit for their tests. Anybody who has done math homework online knows that there is no such thing as partial credit. There are right and wrong answers and a simple mistake of a sign will mark your whole problem wrong. At least when students have their tests marked and graded by a professor, they may receive partial credit. That’s no longer an option when tests are done online.
The added stress of online tests and lack of connection has had even more serious effects on Valencia’s motivation to finish school.
“It has ruined my motivation to finish school or even attend some of my classes. If for some reason this continues into fall, I may make a decision and not enroll back into school,” said Valencia
Other students feel as though they aren’t learning nearly enough in time for their midterms.
Fourth-year student, John Stever, said, “It’s bad. I know I’ve been in school for four weeks now, but I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything. Then midterms are suddenly coming up and I have no idea what that’s gonna be like. It’s just ten times more stressful than what it’s like on a normal quarter.”
Stever has had quizzes fail on him because of poor internet connections and fears that will happen during one of his midterms.
Some students like Roxanne Bogarin, a fourth-year graphic design major, found that online classes were an easier fit for her. “Having classes online is a whole lot better for me since I have a lot more time to work on my projects and work. My midterms will just be online during regular class times.”
Whether it’s a change for the better or a change for the worse, students and professors are making the most out of these difficult and stressful times. And everybody is in this together at the end of the day. Professors are overall more understanding and lenient towards students, altering assignments the best they can and taking into account the current circumstances of the world right now.