These days schooling has become about tests, tests and more tests. Almost everything we learn in class is preparation for state standardized tests. I don’t think people understand the massive amount of pressure placed on students’ shoulders.

These tests can in fact decide students’ futures regarding college. If they don’t do well the people in charge of the testing can assume they are unintelligent or even lazy, when in reality you could have been having an off day. The studies done at the American Test Anxieties Association say that 16 to 20 percent of students have high anxiety. This can result in performing badly even if you know the material inside and out.

The scores recorded on these tests don’t just affect us and our future; they affect the school and our teachers. Teachers are forced to teach according to the material that will be on the exam. This tactic takes a large amount of creativity out of learning. How can we learn efficiently when we have the weight and stress of these exams hanging over our heads? This can also turn school into an uncomfortable and unhealthy learning environment. Students may feel that they cannot live up to the extremely high stakes of the test and stop trying.

Some people may argue that the best way to measure what students learned is to present a test maybe 20 or 30 multiple choice questions long. In reality that doesn’t tell them what we really know. In numerous cases it just says that some students are better at guessing than others.

Officials need to stop revolving everything in the educational world about these tests and do what’s actually best for the future generations.

Oceana Barillaro,

Selinsgrove Area High School