The dreaded Keystones

GNA CAMPUS- The Keystones, state standardized testing, is right around the corner here at GNA. They begin January 7th and go through January 14th.

Standardized testing brings a lot of things along with it, but mainly anxiety. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to pass. This tends to lead to an overwhelming amount of doubt for both the teachers and students. The scores students receive reflect on how “effective” the teacher is. The score also shows how “smart” the student is. Or does it? 

Making the score a label of how “smart” a student is, is very unfair. Some students do amazing on tests and some dread them. The pressure students are under from not only the school but their families and themselves can crack them. Testing is definitely important but when it comes to determining if one would graduate it gets a tad extensive. Overall grades should be what decides if a student gets to walk across the stage and flip their tassels, not a standardized test. 

At GNA, we have courses that teach strategies to help students pass the test. Also, the school district has implemented extra periods called WIN Periods. WIN period is held every other week on Tuesdays and Thursdays during certain months. These periods are 30 minutes each and are held directly after homeroom. Students learn strategies and receive extra help on the subjects in which they will be tested. This, in theory, is a great idea because bettering the students’ odds is great, right? Well kinda. Most students take these tests very seriously, but there are also just some students who don’t care.

Many GNA students excel in academics; however, when the scores get published in the newspaper, GNA seems to always score near the bottom of the pack. Why is this? Unfortunately, the students who care are sometimes overshadowed by those who don’t. Many just rush through the questions and guess. This trend must STOP! 

In order for one to do their best, there are some things one can do to better prepare for these tests. Some of the best things to do months prior to the test would be to: take many practice tests, read over important material, pay attention to what is being taught in class and seek out extra help from teachers. On the night before, it is always helpful to get a full night’s sleep and to eat a full breakfast in the morning. Eating a full breakfast helps to improve focus and attention. If you do these different things, your odds of getting a better grade are increased greatly.

With the test right around the corner and opinions aside, we need to focus on doing our best in order to feel successful.

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