How does Staples’ midterm schedule compare to the college exam calendar?


Aileen Coyne

Midterms at Staples are scheduled differently than most college, giving students less of a university experience but using time efficiently.

Aileen Coyne, Staff Writer

Sweatpants, tired eyes, and stressed out students are easy to spot at Staples High School during midterms week.

Staples students are forced to cram up to eight classes’ materials of an entire semester into only four days of testing, causing them to be extremely anxious and often lose sleep stressing. But this schedule is very different than most college exam schedules, leaving students wondering if Staples midterms are preparing them for their future exams.

At the University of Michigan, according to its Information Center, final exams take place before students leave for December break. There is also a three day break for students to study between the final day of class and the first day of finals. Usually, all students’ finals are spread throughout six or seven days. Similar to Staples’ exams, Michigan’s are all two hours long.

Some believe Staples’ compacted schedule is unnecessary. Students generally have more exams than college students, yet they are crammed into almost half as much time. “It creates much added stress in a student’s daily life,” Sydney Sussman ’15 said.

Both Fairfield University and Yale University follow a similar schedule. At Fairfield University, students get three days off between the last day of classes and first day of exams and at Yale, students get an entire week off to study. At both schools exams are spread through a week.

Contrasting with how most colleges organize exams, Staples midterms start after students arrive from break and are compacted into four days directly following the end of classes.

“The only unrealistic part of the (Staples) schedule is the university plans your time slots for the exams so that they’re never back to back, but you could definitely have an exam two days in a row,” Staples graduate and current Michigan student Jen Dimitrief said.

Many believe that the compacted midterm schedule prepares students better for college.

“It teaches us to manage our time really well. If you have two really difficult midterms in the same day then you’re forced to make time to study for both of them, or just not do well,” Lucas Manning ’16 said. During exams students are forced to practice time management in order to maximize studying efficiency. Learning time management early on can help students both on exams in college and later in life.

Dimitrief agreed, “Staples prepares you because it forces you to start your studying ahead of time.”

Principal John Dodig defends the current midterm schedule not because of preparation, but because of practicality, “In public school it’s a matter of efficiency. We are required to have 182 days of instruction and so we can’t spread midterms out much more.”