The Struggles of Testing

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The Struggles of Testing

Kailyn Tinberg, Editor

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It’s testing season, the part of every school year filled with stress and worrying, for some worse than others. As students, we know that testing isn’t always fun. It comes with countless sleepless nights of studying and preparing. There’s always pressure from teachers and parents to do well, which doesn’t always help. Students and parents across the country are recognizing these struggles and the flaws of our testing system. 

Parents are now opting their students out of tests because of how opposed they are to the system. They say that testing takes up valuable learning time, instead of being a motivation to learn and study.

A concerned parent in Albuquerque, Mark Gilboard, got his child out of testing when he found out “that she and her classmates had spent an hour sitting in front of computers to make sure that the technology was ready for the new online exams”, according to The Washington Post. He said that “they’re using up classroom time to test the test”, and he questioned “how do we get these children the uninterrupted instructional time that they need from their teachers?”

There was also a student-organized walkout, protesting the PARCC exams taking place in a New Mexico high school. A student held up a sign saying “I am more than a test score”. 

It’s not just the over-importance and time-wasting aspects of testing that we’re concerned about. Testing has a huge impact on the students themselves. As said by The New York Times, “critics argue that all this test-taking is churning out sleep-deprived, overworked, miserable children.” It seems to be causing more of a negative impact on students than positive. All of the stress caused by exams can have an overall effect on a student’s mood, motivation, and choices. 

Some stress can be good, yes, but not stress like this. Some stress can cause students to be motivated to get a good grade and to pass the class. However, too much of this can be dangerous, especially for kids with anxiety and depression. Too much anxiety in students can lead to lack of motivation and even more stress. This can change a student’s mood and attitude- which is never good. 

The ChildLine National Exam Stress Survey said that 96% of 1,300 students reported they they felt anxious about exams, 59% felt pressure from their parents to do well, and 64% felt that they have never received any support in dealing with exams. Some students said that they even resorted to smoking, taking drugs, and self-harming. The survey says that “almost half of pupils say they have skipped meals, two thirds of those surveyed said they have had trouble sleeping, and 14% said they have drank alcohol as a way of dealing with exam anxiety.” 

I’m not saying that this is the case for every student, but is this really what we want happening to our kids? Do we really want to put so much pressure on them that they feel the need to hurt themselves? School should teach you about the world and life before you can really experience it, not stress you out so much that you don’t want to be a part of it at all. I understand the reasons behind testing, I really do. I just don’t think a score should have the power decide your future. 

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