Opinion

De-Stress the Test

By SEAN KING

Staff Writer

   It’s the night before my test, and I’ve been incessantly studying since the afternoon. The stakes are high: if I don’t do well on this test, it will be statistically impossible to get an A in the class after my final. After all the trials and tribulations of learning the material, the clock hits 11 p.m., and the work is finally complete. Silently, I turn off my iPad and drag my sleepy body upstairs where I promptly flop onto my bed and pass out for the night. The next morning, I wake up refreshed and confident for the test. The day slowly churns on until 1:35, when my class starts. I waltz into class and sit down, ready to knock out my test. However, when I get it, I flip through the pages and notice an entire section my teacher had left off of the study guide. Appalled, I walk up to said teacher and inquire about it.

   “I briefly mentioned it at the end of our first class. You should know it!” the teacher tells me. I mope back to my desk, my confidence quickly evaporating.

   Unfortunately, this is all too common here at Pinewood: the material that is taught in a class is often not consistent with the actual tests. This creates unneeded stress and artificially reduces the grades of students. Instead of trying to test a student’s knowledge of a subject, many current exams test if they can figure out what the teacher forgot from the syllabus. In turn, this reduces the overall learning of students.

   As we all know, high levels of stress are running rampant throughout teenagers, especially in the Silicon Valley. As the Atlantic reported, “49 percent of [high school] students reported feeling ‘a great deal of stress’ on a daily basis.” This number will likely keep climbing as adolescents are faced with more demand to live up to their parents’ expectations and succeed at a high level in school. With all the pressure being put on teenagers, isn’t it obvious that we don’t need to add any more?

   It is imperative that teachers keep the material on tests consistent with the material learned in class. If a teacher gets behind with material, it is unrealistic for them to expect students to fully know it for a test. Whatever is taught and explained in class must be what is put on the test, no more and no less. Teachers make the ultimate sacrifice to prepare students for college and life beyond, but this simple mistake causes too many problems. Lastly, I appreciate the fact that we can respectively discuss these topics here at Pinewood, and I’m very thankful for our teachers who have helped to make so many of the students’ lives better, but to further support their students, teachers must ensure that tests align with what is taught in class.

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