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Litzy Casas, Reporter

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Throughout the school year, teachers prepare students for standardized tests by giving exams and quizzes. According to the Texas Business Leadership Council, a student takes around 38 standardized tests in a period of 10 school years.

Many think these exams are helpful and study for long periods of time to get perfect scores. After years of practice and studying, junior Rosa Santos took the SAT.

“I did everything I could to prepare for this test,” Santos said. “I attended a boot camp, practiced on the booklets they give us and even had a study group.”

While some argue tests are a way to determine how smart someone really is, not everyone agrees. SAT scores are scored from 400-1600 and based on two sections, Math, and Reading and Writing combined. With 1070 being average, 1250 places you in the top fifth of test takers. Any score 1500+ puts you in the coveted top 1%. Although Santos prepared for the test, she thinks testing is not needed to determine the education level of someone.

“Tests, in general, are overrated and unnecessary,” Santos said. “The results really don’t show how smart someone is since it’s timed, and that can be a stressor. I just think exams, quizzes and tests aren’t necessary. Even after years of being prepared, when it comes to the real deal most people forget everything.”

Litzy Casas

With teachers, counselors and classmates repeatedly mentioning standardized tests, all that comes to mind for many students is to just get it over with. According to student mentor and blogger Nicholas Ferroni, his students think they have enough homework, projects and quizzes to worry about, and they don’t need more pressure. Santos believes that testing is just another way to pressure students.

“I personally get more stressed, get less sleep and have less energy,” Rodriguez said. “My motivation is there because I really want a good grade, but all those hours studying doesn’t help me concentrate, and I could miss something important. A teacher may feel tired and a little overworked, but it’s the students taking the test.

Even if students are the ones under pressure teachers and counselors can also see the tension they are under. Counselor Jacqueline Villalobos calms students down by telling them this is one of the few things to worry about.

“If a student is not successful with the score it can be really emotionally stressful,” Villalobos said. “Colleges know it’s stressful too, so not only do they look at grades, but they also look at the rest of the student. They think of ‘What else did they do besides going to class every day or how involved are they socially?’ A standardized test is just one part of being a student. It’s not the whole student. I recommend them to focus on what they can do to be a better student.”

Many teachers tell their students that the real world is full of things they have educationally learned. Villalobos said this era is all about what you have achieved, such as medals, awards and prizes.

“I think as a student in this time you need to have several types of evaluations to measure your academic success,” Villalobos said. “One way is by taking a standardized test. When you take a simple quiz you show that on paper you are academically competitive and want those high scores. Testing really helps you be prepared for the future.”

The College Board reported around 780,000 students, in the class of 2018, took the SAT and around 4.3 million students took the PSAT in the 2017-18 school year. Counselor Jacqueline

Villalobos helped students prepare for this by telling them to practice, practice and practice trough tips.

 

“Many students come and ask me what they can do to be successful,” Villalobos said. “I recommend students to take as many practice tests as they can. A lot of these test help get more practice, so it’s more likely the result, will be a good score.”

Even if test booklets are given to students, Villalobos recommends to always search for information about the tests. “Let’s say you log in the SAT site and take the practice test. That would give you an idea of your weaknesses and strengths,” Villalobos said. “If vocabulary is your weakness, then find a resource that goes over vocabulary words.”

From study groups to counselors students get as much help as needed to pass a standardized test, including classes.

“A lot of classes syllabus is based on the standardized test,” Villalobos said. “By knowing what’s going to be expected on that test a lot of classes change their curriculum to better serve the students in being successful on that test.”

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