The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Students drowning in beginning-of-year quizzes

Students+drowning+in+beginning-of-year+quizzes
Illustration by Rhea Noumair

It’s the beginning of the year, students are just getting back from summer vacation and are trying to make sense of their classes and schedules. Most teachers use their first two days as “get to know me” class periods to ease students and themselves back into the redundant school schedule. However, some classes such as Honors Pre-Calculus and AP World History jumped into course content on the first day.

Many students had their first quiz or graded assignment on Friday, Sept. 1, with another quiz the following week. Although a lot of information is packed into the AP and honors classes, students and teachers shouldn’t be expected to recover from summer break so quickly.

The first week is always used for students to figure out their schedule. People switch classes, periods and teachers, making keeping up with classes difficult. Missing the first graded assignment leads to being behind in the class. Catching up is not an easy task and starting off already behind schedule makes the rest of the class a struggle.

The first unit taught in AP World History is known as “Unit Zero.” This “unit” covers the context needed to succeed in the class. While the content wouldn’t be on quizzes or unit tests, it is critical to the upcoming graded assignments.

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The first quiz was taken on Sept. 1. It was a collaborative quiz based on selected places studied. Sept. 11 or 12 (depending on which teacher you have) was based on Unit One content, learned the previous week.

Although fast-paced instruction is expected of AP classes, it is also occurring in honors classes, like Honors Pre-Calculus.

Honors Pre-Calculus students had their first quiz on Friday, Sept. 1 It was a warm-up quiz worth eight points. The next quiz was on Thursday, Sept. 7 and worth 22 points, which many are opting to retake. There is was another quiz on Sept. 14 and a unit test on Monday, Sept. 18. Honors classes, Honors Pre-Calculus especially, are known for being fast-paced classes. However, it shouldn’t be spent cramming four new concepts into a single 45-minute class.

Classes like this are only setting students up for failure. Instead, these classes should be easing their students into content during the first week and a half, like Honors Physics. Despite being known as one of the harder classes, the class has managed to be fun while instructive. There have been several group activities such as labs and even collaborative worksheets to prepare students for their first quiz on Thursday, Sept. 14.

More classes need to take a calmer approach when assigning graded work to students at the beginning of the school year. Just as teachers ask us to be patient with them as they adjust, we ask for them to please be patient with us, as we try to wrap our heads around new content.

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About the Contributor
Rhea Noumair
Rhea Noumair, Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator
Junior Rhea Noumair is in her third year of Pitch and is the Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator. She enjoys playing and watching soccer, painting and listening to music in her free time.
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