Hard Work in High School: Can It Pay Off Now?Friday, March 09, 2007 By Sehar Sabir
Exam time is around the corner and, as usual, the hallways are full of the same questions every day: “What did you get last semester in chemistry?” or “What do you need on the exam to keep your A in English?” Ever wondered if there is a way to be less stressed around exam time or at least minimize the number of exams you feel pressured to ace in order to keep your college transcript looking pretty? Well there is a way! It’s called the “Double-A Exemption” policy and it rewards the hardworking students who earn an A both quarters during a semester in any given class with an exemption from its final exam. Currently, students who earn an A both quarters in a class must earn at least a C on their final exam to keep their grade, because of which anxiety arises in unnecessary situations. School, homework, projects, tests, and teachers are all several things that stress out the average teenager. According to the annual “School Gate” survey commissioned by RM plc, 96% of teenagers surveyed claimed that school is far from stress-free. Of the stressful situations school causes, 46% feel that doing well in school is what worries them the most. Some may argue that allowing students to simply be exempted from an exam in a subject area they have obviously excelled in is not going to help them cope with stress better, but it surely is a small step towards healthier and happier teenagers. Resource Counselor Ms. Hairston says that years ago at Paint Branch, the exemption policy used to be implemented for students who had perfect attendance, but when Montgomery County began conducting county-wide exams, the policy was ended. Granted that exams are a way to prepare high school students for college, is it not fair to reward them for their outstanding achievement with something more than pizza parties? And what about the students who can’t get straight A’s, but who still excel in specific subjects? They too, like the other outstanding achievers, should be recognized for their efforts and rewarded for their dedication. Paint Branch should consider adopting this policy once again because more than likely, if the exemption policy is enacted, students will work harder over the course of the year. In addition, when exam week comes they can focus on the classes that they need to study for more, or simply relax after a long, hard semester. Motivating students to do better is an essential part of the learning process and the Double-A Exemption policy is a guaranteed formula for success!