Albert Lea High School Newspaper

Sabrina Hill

Face to Face: Standardized Testing

May 4, 2017

Against Testing

If you ask most of my teachers, you will see that I am an impeccable student; I do well in class and participate daily. Yet the thing that tears me down is testing.
I hate it.
I hate it so much.
I don’t just hate testing because I hate having to study and spend time out of my “busy” day to focus on one subject at a time. I hate the feeling it gives me. During eighth grade, tests made my stomach churn so much that I often found myself throwing up in the bathroom. I worked myself up so much because of the possibility of failure that I felt as if I was actually dying.
Things got progressively better the older I got, then I found myself in front of the biggest test in the history of the world: the ACT.
I wanted to never wake up. I went into 11 grade knowing that I had to take the ACT, in fact, I even ended my sophomore year dreading the test; it was a terrible thought to have.
When the day came, I have never felt such a surge of illness. I was constantly in pain, shaking due to being freezing cold, but my head was burning up. I was constantly thirsty but feared to drink because there was only one scheduled bathroom break and I was not about to take time out of this test to go to the bathroom. I wore comfy clothes and made sure I had no makeup on so people could not see my tears afterward.
The test ended, I finished everything I needed to, but at what cost?
My brain was fried. And I thought I actually left my soul in E-213 (sorry, Mr. Lange).
The ACT should not be as nerve-racking as it actually is– that applies to other standardized tests as well. Nobody should ever feel as if they are going to throw up their insides for as long as the tests take.
That is why I hate standardized tests, as well as, every other test known to man. They bring unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’re like me, then it feels even worse.
I hate tests, but see their importance as well.
Though I hate these tests, I decide to take them. I take them because I know my score could possibly help our school, or get me into a college I really want. Fortunately, they both happened. But I also want to emphasize that tests are not the end of the world.
Your scores do not define you, and I encourage you “to do what’s difficult” and persevere, because by doing these things that are difficult, you are building character, and improving yourself.

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For Testing

Standardized Testing. Just those two words alone seem to make people groan in complaint. I get it; I really do. No one would choose to spend their time filling in bubbles and answering questions in a timed setting. This isn’t meant as a form of punishment though. Despite what you may think, taking these tests are beneficial.
Standardized testing helps the district know whether we are meeting learning standards and if our teachers are teaching us what we need to know. These scores are taken into consideration so that we can have the best learning experience possible. As a student you might think, “Well, why should I care?” Think about it though. Having a lower level of education can close many doors in your future.
We, in Albert Lea, are very lucky as we have amazing teachers; many who have won or were nominated for Teacher of the Year. Think about if we didn’t. CIS and AP classes probably wouldn’t be an option for us. Our ACT scores would probably average lower and the colleges we all want to go to might not be as elated to have us attend their esteemed institutions.
Did I mention money? Here’s some common sense I’m about to lay down for ya: the school covers the cost of tests for you. The ACT costs around $70 and the school pays for that so you don’t have to.
Imagine having to fork over $70 to take a test just so you can go to a college and spend even more money.
Let’s be grateful that we get to take it free of charge and during our school day. Not only is the school covering the cost for us, so that a student isn’t withheld from the opportunity due to financial issues, but they’re also taking a day out of our school calendar to let you take it so you don’t have to worry about finding a way there or coming in on a Saturday morning. So, my fellow students, please count your stars and keep those groans to yourself. Let’s be grateful for what we have and hope that we don’t lose it.

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