End the Semester Strong

Mastery exams offer students one last chance to boost their overall grade without any consequences.

this picture is a pencil in top of a scan tron.

CC0 Public Domain

this picture is a pencil in top of a scan tron.

As we’re nearing the finish line for winter break, we still have to keep in mind that mastery exams are just around the corner. Freshman through seniors here at Round Lake Senior High School can take mastery exams to improve their grades. Mastery exams will take place Wednesday, Dec. 18 and will end Friday, Dec. 20. 

During mastery exams, activity busses will drop off and pick up students each hour. The times are 8:40 a.m., 9:40 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m., and the last bus runs at 12:40 p.m. Those busses will enter and leave through the Commons. It’s important for students to know that there are places throughout the school that they will not be able to enter during mastery exams. Students are prohibited from hanging out on the Gathering Stairs, collaboration spaces, the front foyer, the library and the computer lab. 

It’s also important to remember to bring everything you need for mastery exams. You will need to bring your fast passes and your school ID. If you forget your fast pass, the teacher working the exam room will be able to look up the skills that you need to be tested on, but it will be time consuming, so if you want the day to go quickly and smoothly, don’t forget it. You can always take a picture of the pass on your phone and show the teacher. Remember you will not necessarily be tested in the room that you have class. There will be a list posted outside the main office telling you which rooms will be testing for which courses. 

A benefit to mastery exams is that the results cannot negatively affect your overall grade. Your Power Standard grades will only go up if you improve on them on the mastery exam. While it may be tempting to just skip mastery exams altogether because doing so won’t affect your grade, principal Mr. Mike Berrie and associate principal of curriculum and instruction Mr. Mike Baird, strongly urge students to think long and hard about that decision. 

“Students should not view exams as optional,” said Berrie. “It is always a better idea to take an opportunity to improve on the level of performance that one might currently have.”

Baird agrees. “Mastery exams are the one true no pressure assessment a student can take at the high school,” he said.

RLHS chemistry teacher Ms. Evelyn Edge says that students need to prepare for mastery exams. The first thing that students should do is look at the study guide and focus on the Power Standards that they need to improve on. It’s also important that you make sure you have a game plan for each day of mastery exams. Know which tests you’re taking when and know that you’ll have enough time to complete them. It’s also a good idea to eat a good, nutritious breakfast before heading out the door.

Take one last opportunity to show this semester what you’ve got, and go into winter break knowing you gave it your all.