Everyone was a junior in their lifetime. Everyone was a Year 9 or 10, sitting in class and hearing the astounding announcement of your class taking the milestone before everyone else did, meaning you couldn’t fish your friends for questions. Meaning, after you sat the exam, your friends proceeded to hook and line you for answers, and then you began to cry about how the average score was higher.

For some students, junior milestones may be their first experience of sitting a proper exam. Some new students may come from backgrounds where academics was not a primary focus and, therefore, techniques such as preparing for an exam were neglected. 

From my own personal experience, during my time before Macleans College, exams weren’t really a thing. Instead, it was called “a progress assessment”, or “just a check-up.” The closest thing  I had to a real exam was the multiple stacks of ICAS assessments I partook in, in which none of them returned with bountiful results. I never really understood how to study, revise, or understand the utmost importance of significant improvement in results up until the time I arrived at Macleans.

Junior milestones are intended to help the younger students understand how to prepare, study, and revise for an exam. Even if you completely flunk a test, it won’t even have that much of an effect on your academic life, because junior milestones are intended for you to learn from your mistakes and adapt to new studying techniques for your senior years. 

In reality, your junior years don’t matter. That’s what I’ve been told over and over again by my seniors.

Junior milestones are intended for you to understand the complete grind once you put on the striped shirt. Those exams genuinely contribute to your future.

However, the grades that come out from your junior reports don’t really contribute to anything. (Except for Year 10 end of year exams, those are the exceptions.) They are genuinely just a checkpoint for students to see how well they’re faring with their studies, and how they can further improve.

So yes, milestones are a yay. They are indeed the stepping stones for younger students to mature into the real exams.

6th September, 2023
Emma Li, edited by Clarissa Oblefias and Aaron Huang
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

1 comment
  1. I personally think milestones and conventional exams are bad to education. Instead of teaching for the purpose of learning, we teach for the purpose of grades. Too much focus on academic grades, and not enough on fostering curiosity.

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