Does this test truly reflect me?
Nothing quite matches the stress of a big test. The preparation, the skill required for quality guessing, the day you finally find out your score: It all adds up to a pretty unenjoyable experience.
Now imagine that the test will help determine your future and in just a few scores, summarize how much you were really paying attention in high school. Well, juniors and seniors know exactly what it feels like to face this scenario, and soon they will sit down with their No. 2 pencils and face a student's most dreaded acronyms: SAT and ACT.
There's always a silver lining, however, and if nothing else, these tests are a milestone that get those who are college bound a little bit closer to their goal. Besides, the upperclassmen aren't the only ones who get to fill in bubbles this spring. STAR testing, which measures students' aptitudes in various academic subjects, is making an appearance in April, and there might be some changes this year.
For some students, there is a big difference between the amount of effort they put into maintaining their transcripts and how much they try during a STAR test. The remedy to this issue seems obvious to some: make the two mutually exclusive, and let colleges see the results of the exam when they receive a college application. And yet, this may not be such a popular measure with teenage test-takers.
Students at Wheatland Union High School aren't afraid to voice their opinions. Kaycee Budd, a senior, said, "Not all students try their hardest. I've done that, but it's not fair because I work hard and I get good grades."
Many others agree and think that the one-test-fits-all format isn't a good measure of true academic know-how or performance. But does the same principle apply to the SAT? After all, most universities want to know an applicant's scores, and they will be required for admittance whether someone does well on them or not.
As a result, slacking off isn't usually overlooked, especially not by parents shelling out big money for the test. Yet some nervous adolescents still wonder if they capture the qualifications of each individual for a specific college.
Kelly Leiva, a junior, doesn't think so. "I think they're important, but I don't think they should be the first thing colleges take into consideration. Some people are smart, but they maybe don't have the same work ethic as someone who tries really hard in school."
While standardized tests might not be a true reflection of the grueling effort needed to maintain a high GPA, a lot of students still put much toil into the SAT by studying up on vocabulary and math skills. Still, those at WUHS are wise when they say that a number will never be a true reflection of a person or how much of their time and energy they've invested in high school.
One can only hope that, no matter what test students are taking, they do more than draw a pretty picture on the answer booklet.