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Benefits of Non-Semestered High Schools

A photo of christi88 christi88

We came across this blog article in the stacks, and it made us wonder two things:
1. Are you semestered or non-semestered? and;
2. Which one is better?

Lets dig a little deeper here....
Do you enjoy having the same 4 courses for half a year? Or do you like the variety of eight?
Is it too much to handle with eight courses at once, too boring with only four, and most importantly, do you forget too much of a subject when you haven't studied it in months?

Megann Licskai wrote:

"When I casually mention that I attended a non-semestered high school, people react with mild horror. "Ah!" they say, "I could never handle 8 classes!"

However, I have very few complaints. In fact, I think that it's a pity that so many schools have moved away from this system, because there so many benefits, including:

- Variety. I loved not having to go to the same classes all the time. There was no such thing as having a bad semester, because I had different classes every other day.
- In a semestered system, there's a risk of going an entire year without having math or French or music. While this sounds great to people who don't like math et al, going to a non-semestered school meant that I never had to worry about forgetting the quadratic formula or how to use plus que parfait.
- More time! Even though you have to worry about more classes, you never have to worry about handing in a homework assignment the next day when you're on a 2 Day Cycle. This leaves lots of time to get help and clarification.
- When you're balancing 8 courses, you learn to make it work. This means that you develop a host of time management and organizational skills. And, as an added bonus, when you go to university, not only will you know exactly how to use your time, but you'll go down from 8 classes to 5 classes, instead of going up from 4."

Megann Licskai is a freshman in the Foundation Year Program at the University of King’s College in Halifax.
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7 replies
A photo of ktel ktel
I went to a non-semestered high school and agree with everything that Megann said. I would not enjoy having the same course every single day and I think the more accelerated pace would also be more difficult
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A photo of aimango aimango
The benefits of semestered high schools is simply that students are able to change their minds about what courses they like, and it's a LOT easier to fast track. Yeah it does get annoying seeing the same course everyday, but it's a lot easier to keep track of. I wouldn't say there is more time because you are non-semestered, the amount of work is about the same, you just have more deadlines to make.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
You can and probably will procrastinate more in a non-semestered school. Non-semestered schools also can screw you over with assignments if several classes assign them. However, I believe that non-semestered schools have a much better LEARNING aspect. Learning a new language over a year every second day is much more effective than learning a language in half that time on a daily basis.
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A photo of erudite erudite
I'm in non-semestered. It's alright I guess, but I would reallllly prefer semestered. I would love to focus on 4 courses!
Final exams are in June for ALL your courses and they are literally one after the other. For me, it's not a problem cuz i take 6 courses and only 2 have exams (calc, accounting; other courses evaluate with a 30% project) and the english exam is in may. But if you take all 3 sciences, it's a big problem cuz you'll have at least 4 exams and science people tend to take like social science as electives (at least at my school) and they all have exams too so that's like 5-6 exams in grade 12. In grade 9 i had to do 7 exams (EQAO math, math, english, french, science, music, geo,).
Maybe another advantage is that universities get to see ALL your marks?
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A photo of Fatima94 Fatima94
I used to go to a non-semestered school in grade 9 and personally, I find the semester system to be a lot better.

It's much easier to focus on 4 courses than 8 courses.
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A photo of denden denden
I go to a non-sem right now and it's alright. The only tough part is having more exams than sem schools. XD I had 5 midterms in grade 9 plus my band and vocal exam but my friend who was semestered only had 3 and he was complaining about it. :P
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