June Tests During Corona: Pros and Cons

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Sydney Eisenstein ’22

During the week of June 15 to 19, Ramaz students will be taking exams despite the virtual learning environment. Although having these tests may be a nuisance to some, tests will give students the opportunity to display their knowledge and dedication to their academics. Additionally, they will help students solidify the material that they studied this past year. Fortunately, the week that was once finals has been modified and tests will only cover the amount of material that would be on a regular test. Usually, teachers have review sessions in school for finals, but this year, it is unclear how teachers will prepare students for these exams. 

Most other competing Jewish schools decided not to administer tests. For example, SAR will not be having final exams. Instead of tests, they will be having projects in each of their classes. In addition to SAR, Frisch also will not be having tests. Frisch students have projects in some classes and no finals in other classes.

There will only be tests in four classes—Talmud, math, science, and history. The exams administered in June will count less toward students’ overall grades, with grades distributed more evenly between assignments and projects from the semester. The administration hopes that these tests will also give students and teachers a feeling of normalcy and structure.

Each department has different policies for alternatives to tests and grading. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Hebrew: The Hebrew department will grade students based on quizzes, homework, and classroom participation.
  • Jewish Law and Thought (JLT): Students in JLT will be graded on written assignments done throughout the semester, as well as a final writing assignment.
  • Talmud: The Talmud department decided that there will be an oral final exam. Students’ overall grades will come from grades on projects, assessments, and the final exam.
  • Tanakh: The Tanakh department decided that there will be a final project as opposed to a test. Students will be graded on quizzes, assignments, and their final projects.
  • English: The English department decided that instead of online quizzes, there will be homework assignments and oral presentations. Students will be graded on essays from the semester as well as these assessments.
  • History: The history department decided that there will be a final exam. Students will be graded on their research papers, their mid-semester tests, and the final exam. 
  • Math: The math department decided that there will be a final exam. Students will be graded on portfolios, take-home tests, partner tests, online tests, and the final exam. 
  • Science: The science department decided that there will be a final exam. Students will be graded on assignments, assessments, homework, classwork, quizzes, and the final exam. 
  • World Languages: The World Languages department decided that grading will be based on assessments, homework, and two projects from throughout the semester.