MIDHURST, ONT. -- High school students in Simcoe Muskoka may still be adapting to an evolving school system this year, but at least they won't be cramming for exams.

The Catholic and public school boards decided to do away with final exams to ease the pressures of the new quadmesters for secondary students.

The school year was divided into four terms rather than the usual two, with students tackling two courses per term.

The Ministry of Education recently gave educators some latitude on assessing students, so the Simcoe County District School Board decided it was the right time to break away from tradition.

"Being that we are in a very different state of education right now, that we have students learning remotely, students learning in person, we really need to focus on what the primary purpose of assessment was and not worry about that traditional exam," said SCDSB superintendent of education Dawn Stephens.

Student assessment will be similar at both boards, with in-class work counting for 100 per cent of the final mark.

Simcoe Muskoka District Catholic School Board interim director of education, Catherine McCullough, said student evaluations would instead happen in small chunks throughout the course. "Usually, teachers, what they offer towards the end of the semester - or in this case, the quadmester - would be a culminating activity of some type."

The first quadmester wraps up in the coming weeks with any school days that would have been dedicated to exams being used as instructional days.