The Maroon

Editorial: We need to be able to take midterm grades seriously

Ella Jacobs

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Midterms matter. Both professors and students fall prey to misunderstanding this simple concept. Professors need to take midterms seriously, and students need to take midterms seriously.

Loyola has recently taken the steps to mitigate midterm stress by extending the drop period until Oct. 28 by 4:00 p.m. An extra week will allow students and professors additional time to assess grades and possibly commit to a plan of improvement.

Students often wonder if midterm grades are a valid representation of their work, especially if there have only been a few graded assignments in the course. Midterm grades weigh into determining your scholarship status and even maintaining “good standing” in extracurricular activities or sports on campus.

Midterms are an indicator of a student’s progress thus far. If we have an inconsistency between one professor granting midterm grades as a general rule of thumb about where we stand and another who says “Those grades don’t really matter,” then how can we know how to improve? How can we succeed if we are uncertain from the beginning?

Treating midterms as mere letters for the sake of meeting the university’s policy to put something in a grade box only hurts the student, especially if that student is planning on applying to graduate school and the student’s future university requires their most recent academic progress, i.e. midterms.

We need to know if this is the time to withdraw or remain in the course and work to change the grade. If the class is only offered once per semester or the student is graduating, the stakes are higher and more dependent on midterm grades.

On the other hand, if professors are willing to take midterms seriously, students need to take midterms seriously.

Midterm grades have an effect on a student’s overall grade towards the end of the semester. Don’t merely rely on extra tests and points to pull a grade up. Study hard.

Attend classes. Regardless of if attendance is mandatory or not, we can only expect to make decent grades if we show up to class. You get what you put in, so put in the work and time your classes require.

If a professor is going to take the time to offer consultation or office hours for your benefit and success in their class, use them. A professor’s email, office hours or even phone number at the top of the syllabus aren’t just for show.

The fact that a professor is willing to be as flexible as possible for the sake of a student’s well being and success should show us that they care. Loyola is built on such ideals as care for the whole person.

Midterm grades are our opportunity to take advantage of that care and strive to better ourselves.

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Editorial: We need to be able to take midterm grades seriously