July 17, 2018
School & Youth
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Students Weigh In On Standardized Testing

Emily Loane
Emily Loane's picture
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August 23, 2017

Earlier this year, legislators in the General Assembly passed a bill limiting testing to 2.2 percent of overall classroom time. But do the students feel as if they are being tested too much?

Tests include the PSAT, SAT, ACT, HSA, PARCC and AP tests for some students, as well as in-class tests and pop quizzes. Most of these tests are issued in high school. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors have to take the PSAT once a year.

The HSA, which is no longer used, tested students in the subjects of government, biology, algebra and English. Passing the HSA in those three subjects was a graduation requirement. The HSA was recently replaced with PARCC, which students also have to pass to graduate. Those who do not pass PARCC the first time are placed in a remedial English class that prepares them to take PARCC again at the end of that school year.

Students can choose when to take the SAT and ACT. Most colleges require applicants to submit a score from one of those tests, although some schools do not require SAT or ACT scores. Some universities are also test-optional, meaning that students need to provide test scores only if they have a low GPA.

When it comes to testing, students have differing opinions. Some students have either chosen test-optional colleges or have chosen not to take AP tests because even if they take the class, they are not required to take the test. Seniors Taylor and Samantha Bodnar, who attend Chesapeake High School, believe they are not tested too much. Senior Jade Williams voiced the opposite viewpoint.

“I feel that we are [tested too much] because with the quarterly tests and unit tests and pop quizzes some teachers throw in, we end up testing more than we do spending time to actually learn the material,” Williams said.

While Taylor and Samantha Bodnar expressed an alternate opinion from Williams in regard to the amount of testing, they all had the same opinion of whether test scores accurately represent their academic abilities. “No, they don’t,” Taylor said. “They are just a number.”

Williams thought about the question differently than the Bodnar sisters. “I don’t feel like they do [accurately show your academic ability] because [you] can understand what we learn in class, but not everyone is a great test-taker,” Williams said.

No matter what students say, testing will always be required.


Decipher The Alphabet Soup Of Test Names

What do all those initialisms stand for? Here are the formal names of each of the tests mentioned in the story:

SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Test

PSAT: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test

ACT: American College Testing

HSA: High School Assessments

PARCC: Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

AP: Advanced Placement

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