Midterm Mayhem

The Changes for Next Year’s Midterm Exams

Miami Country Day School is currently in the process of modifying how semester exams will be conducted in the 2017 school year. The exams will continue to be after winter break, and may even take place two a day.  However, they will be weighted and timed according to skill level.

Academic Dean, Dan Bronish, states that the changes being made are “working towards what students will see in college.” Specifically the scaling system will be built in such a manner that students will progress through the years building acumen for a high performance on major exams.

Mr. Bronish also asserts that “it didn’t really make sense that someone in math foundation VI [6th grade] is being assessed the same way somebody who is in AP physics II because of their growth and the expectation we have for those students.” Therefore, the weighting scale will be 6% per exam during 6th and 7th grade.  Evidently, as students transition to the higher expectations of 8th and 9th grade it will rise to 8% per semester exam. Likewise, as students enter into 10th grade until 12th grade the semester exams will be 10% each for all non AP classes.   

AP course exams will be weighted 12.5% each, and will total to 25% of the year grade. AP semester exams will be weighted the same for any student taking the course regardless of grade level.

In addition, there will only be two individual semesters consisting of 18 weeks instead of the previous four individual quarters. The first semester will carry into the second week of January causing the tests to occur January 16th through the 20th. The week and a half following winter break will be designated to both the completion and review of all previous material. The 2 days prior to the exams will solely be for review.

Also pertaining to the exams, there is a very high possibility that two will be taken per day. This is not certain because of scheduling issues. These matters are currently being resolved. In May, a scheduling consultant will come to MCDS to give suggestions on various subjects, one of which will be  the semester exams.

Mr. Bronish emphasizes that the intent of the new weighting scale and exam schedule is not to stress students out, rather he is trying to prepare us for “what is in alignment with what is expected in college level courses.” Of course, if students have any concerns or questions involving the upcoming semester exams, they may be addressed by Mr. Bronish or by Mr. Turf.

What the general populous, and students more specifically, must remember is that everything is in discussion. Many concepts and plans are still in the works, and current ones are under constant revision. What can be said for certain is that come Monday, January 16th, 2017 students will begin to adjust to conditions that best assess and prepare them for college based on their skill and grade level.