Professors Agree: Inappropriately Long and Stressful Midterm Best Way to Test Material

prof_with_paper

Photo from pxhere / CC0

Last Thursday, Penn professors unanimously agreed that inappropriately long, difficult, and stressful midterms are the best way to test course material.

“Academic professionals everywhere know that the human brain performs at its best when under immense, crippling stress,” psychology professor Pavel Pazdera explained. “Our bi-weekly examinations are effective because they elicit a fight-or-flight response.”

Biology professor Mary Dudek often tests students on obscure, trivial details hidden in 150-slide PowerPoints, claiming that the exams accurately gauge student capability and intelligence.

“Actually, I just like seeing their crying faces,” Dudek admitted with a shrug.

Others, such as math professor Jerry Calabrese, stress their students by administering midterms impossible to complete in the allotted time.

“Let’s be real—if you can’t calculate a triple integral in under a minute, you’re dead out there in the real world!” he said sternly to a student who came in to complain about the midterm.

“It was more stressful than helpful that he gave us a ten minute, five minute, two minute, one minute, thirty second, and then a five second warning before snatching the tests out of our hands,” the student said.

Unfortunately for students, it seems like long and stressful midterms are here to stay.

"If you can’t regurgitate information on-demand, then you really haven’t learned anything,” Dudek remarked as she applied a cool 50 percent curve to the recent midterm.

PennConnects