The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 6, 2014

Preparing for Keystone Exams

As the first semester for high school students comes to a close, students are constantly reminded the most important exams of their high school careers are rapidly approaching: the Keystones.

The Keystones are a state-issued test. Beginning with the class of 2017, students are required to pass three exams in order to graduate: Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature. These tests are given after students finish the designated courses.

Beginning on the first day of school, which was earlier this year due to the tests, students begin hearing about the assessments. We are told the exams are life altering and possibly one of the most important things we will ever do in our lives. The added stress these tests put on students is ridiculous and has altered the way teachers teach.

I think these tests are given more power than they deserve. They should not change the way students learn, how teachers teach, and possibly change students’ home lives! The stress a student feels on an average day is already enough, now these tests add to it.

Before students were required to take these tests, teachers taught the students so they learned. Now teachers jam test answers down students’ throats because of the pressure the Keystone Exams cause on students, teachers, and everyone and anyone who has anything to do with Pennsylvania school systems. There really is no solution to the issues that come with these assessments, instead, everyone just needs to stop, relax, and realize that the Keystone Exams are just a test, like any other, and need to be approached like any other test would be.

Alexis Hoffman,


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