No Resting in School Testing

By Diem Tran

Above is an example of the SAT test format 
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Photos

SAN JOSE, CALIF. ⸺ Bay Area high school administrators still refuse to adjust the SAT and CAASPP schedule, forcing test-takers to endure exhausting days after and already-exhausting exam.

As of May of 2023, high schools around the Bay Area have endured an unreasonable schedule that SAT-taking students must follow, subsequently taking the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test shortly afterward.

The big day begins with Juniors going into their assigned classes where they will sit in for around four hours, meeting with fellow students and test proctors between 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. After instructions are given, rules are mandated, and anxiety levels are risen, the exam officially commences. 

Hour one of the SAT is a multiple-choice Language Arts section with students receiving just ten minutes of a break before heading back to their seats to complete Sections Two and Three. When the second timer goes off, students will have finished the grammar-correcting portion of the exam and the “No Calculator-Usage” math section. Somnolent students, ready for a great slumber and beyond-satisfactory meal, were upset to find out they were only given a five minute break before the last hour. 

“I really thought we’d at least get ten minutes like the first break, if not more,” a Silver Creek junior expressed. Another Creek student revealed, “Even some of my teachers thought the SAT schedule didn’t make sense. It felt nice that they sympathized with us, but I wish that Admin felt the same way.” 

Students are already under immense pressure and stress to do well on the SAT, so why are schools making them go through such a wearing day? We are tired.

Not only is CAASPP testing basically mandatory, but it requires students to stay in a room and sit at a desk until the hours are up. It doesn’t matter whether you finish within the first 30 minutes or not; I sat in my seat for the remaining hour-and-a-half bored out of  my mind on the first day. I completely understand that allowing students to take out their electronics when they finish may be risky in terms of potential cheating, but really, I don’t think anyone would. Everyone just wants to get it over with, especially knowing the scores don’t directly affect us. Why waste everyone’s time? We could be doing work or taking a break before having to go through the rest of the school day afterward. I know a large number of students who felt that they were wasting their time just sitting there. “I get it, but I wish we could’ve gotten to leave or something, like get something to eat and just move around instead of sitting in silence for a couple of hours. 

The schools are incredibly imperative, tracking down students’ families with an urgent need for the students to take the test. It’s been told that the school will reprimand students into taking the CAASPP test during their Senior year if they do not complete all four of them their Junior year. Unjust I must say!

I am in no way intending to speak down on the school board and the kind teachers who helped us students take the SAT and CAASPP tests as smoothly as possible, but do our voices not matter in such decisions that directly affect us? Why are our opinions not accounted for?

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