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The Sophomore Test Calendar is Failing Students

The organization of the October test calendar leaves sophomores overworked and unable to prepare for upcoming assessments. From the end of September through early November, sophmores have had a Talmud quiz or test about every two weeks, while the only form of assessments in Tanakh are semi-routine graded writings. This disproportionate divide of assessments between Limudei Qodesh (LQ) classes leaves students feeling overworked and unable to keep up with the constant quizzes and tests in Talmud

If assessments were distributed more evenly, students would be more capable of succeeding in both classes, as they would not be overworked in one class and underworked in the other. The first sophomore Tanakh test of the year was not until late November, leading students to face new test styles with which they had not had a chance to get comfortable. This augmented the pressure on students’ test grades at a critical time in the year. 

This issue is not only present in LQ classes. After only two weeks of material, sophomores had a Chemistry test; there was not another for an additional month and a half. The disproportionate time frames between tests leave students with hardly any material on one test, and extensive amounts of material on the next. 

Additionally, the amount of work time allotted for many writing assignments is often insufficient and unrealistic. For recent social studies and English essays, students were given only a week to submit a first draft. It is often difficult to find time to meet with teachers outside of class, and sometimes instructions are not clear.

Sophomore Benji Solomon missed two days of school and struggled to make up the work. 

“I missed the entire alloted time for an assignment, from the day it was assigned to the day it was due,” Solomon said. 

Solomon is one of many Heschel sophomores who are struggling to handle the intense and confounding test calendar. The calendar isn’t just difficult to manage, but does not help students thrive in their classes, as there are too few assessments in certain classes, and too many in others.

Much of the difficulty surrounding the test calendar is a result of no-homework nights and holidays, which narrow down the possible times in which assessments can be scheduled.   

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