My Midterm and My GPA Do Not Define Me

Hey Professors: My Midterm and My GPA Do Not Define Me

I understand why testing is important in college, but I disagree that it should be.  I understand that professors need to have some grasp of their students’ understanding of material. However, as I sit here trying to prepare for a midterm with no outline or previous assignments to base my studying on, I begin to wonder… is it fair that I have no understanding of what this midterm will be? No preparation to speak of?

Testing in classes in which understanding could be gauged based on papers, presentation or otherwise is unfair. Especially when the ‘real life’ alternative for the class would not expect their workers to off the bat know the dissenting argument from a court case they read three pages on four weeks ago.

To that one might say, ‘life isn’t fair.’ Well college is not life. We are bound by realistic expectations of people who, although being technically adults, have yet to reach full brain development. We are locked into 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish all that classes, extracurriculars, internships, and jobs have to offer, and in that, how am I meant to breathe, let alone study for Latin tests for midterms.

Should we, as students, be forced to conform to unrealistic and frankly unreasonable standards? In the class that this midterm is for, we have had no assignments, other than reading, for the entire semester thus far. How am I meant to prepare for, let alone take a midterm on, content if I don’t have any experience to base my expectations on. Let’s be real, tests at this school don’t always measure understanding, they measure how well we know our professors and how they think. 

The overall emphasis this college, or any college, puts on grades is ridiculous. Why should a total of three assignments over the course of a semester be my final grade and determine my grade point average? Why should my GPA determine my acceptance to abroad programs and graduate schools? Is it not my understanding of material, and what I do with that understanding, that matters more than how well I can play my professor’s game?