Assess Me or Stress Me: Are Quarter Assessments Needed?


Tim Buckley

Students taking a test.

Emilia Gonzalez and Mia Donnamario

As the quarter comes to an end, students at Riverside Brookfield High School take quarter assessments to demonstrate their knowledge of what they were taught throughout the quarter.

“Quarter exams are really meant to give teachers a sense of where students are and their progression towards mastering skills for a particular subject. It’s a check in, it’s almost like a temperature check,” said Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, Kylie Lindquist.

Christal Hughes, who teaches Chemistry at RB likes the idea of the assessments because it helps her as a teacher.

“Quarter assessments should be used to help teachers understand what things need to be reviewed in the next quarter before their final assessments,” said Hughes.

For teacher Patty Sarkady, quarter assessments are different. Sarkady teaches web design, game design, and consumer economics so assessments are different for her classes.

“I use project based work that we’ve been doing [in class] and then putting them into true and false, multiple choice, or matching. I use questions based on coding and sprites when talking about game design.  In web design, talking about the different HTML coding so they had to match different types of coding and talk about the different CSS and HTML styles that they were using in their websites,” said Sarkady.

Lindquist further explains the purpose of these assessments.

“As a teacher, that gives me information about how I need to tailor my instructions in order to move forward,” said Lindquist. “With that information, I can make some decisions about how I am going to adjust my instruction to meet the needs of my students. At the end of the day, it’s about the teachers and how they can best help their students. The idea is to form instruction, not really hurt a student academically.”  

However, some students have a completely different view on the idea of quarter assessments.

“Quarter exams aren’t needed because it gives students unneeded pressure and stress during the middle of the quarter to grades that don’t really impact anything. I don’t believe teachers actually use them to decide whether students are learning or not,” said sophomore Keegan Brown.

Other students like freshman Vanessa Garcia don’t mind taking the exams.

“I think quarter assessments are needed because it tests the level of where students are at and show their learning abilities,” said Garcia.

Although they are stressful, some students believe they are needed for teachers as a checkpoint.

“I feel like quarter exams are very stressful just by hearing the word ‘exam’, but they should be needed because teachers want to see how we progressed from the beginning of the quarter to the end,” said junior Ivelis Rodriguez.