Here, Have Another Test!
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If you are a student at Gig Harbor High School, then you probably have already been enlightened by the news of the brand new test that sophomores and juniors are going to be required to take in the future. This is a new beast: the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
The Smarter Balance Assessment is not like any other test that any student has taken in the past. This test requires juniors and sophomores to use the school’s chrome books. This test, being more interactive, allows students to highlight readings and listen with headphones to audio. Unlike most tests, the Smarter Balanced Test adjusts to the test taker’s ability to answer questions correctly.
Students are encouraged to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment because it will soon become a requirement. However, for now they are given the option to opt out. This enables students to skip the tests to go through remedial classes.
The School District or State should realize that if students were given the opportunity to skip something that they believe do not affect them, then they will not take the test. However students have reasoning to back up why they are opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
First of all, the majority of juniors are already looking to take tests like the SAT and ACT for college credit or requirements. Furthermore, many juniors have to take AP exams in early May. Adding another test that is set to take place after the AP tests is just another time-consuming test. Students are apathetic toward the Smarter Balance Assessment and are opting out because they know that the test will not impact their future. It seems to be a mere waste of time.
Despite this opinion, students that plan on taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment can benefit. These students, who will be the first juniors to take the test, are setting the standard for the school. In fact, students should be grateful of this test, as it is more interactive and not as tricky like the SAT. It requires the same skills: critical reading, writing, and math. Though, this test mashes all of them together and tests students in a different way.
Personally, I do believe that this test is not a big deal, and that students should just take the test. How many tests will you take in your life? Is this little itty-bitty test going to affect your grade at all? In reality, it should be an opportunity for students to test on their abilities.
While I was throwing fits over students opting out and the whole test in general, I thought of a little comparison. Juniors had the opportunity to take AP classes. They knew the load of coursework involved preparing for the AP Exam in May. However, these students are not forced to take AP classes or exams. So why do students take AP classes if they know it will be extra work? It is the same question that should be asked of students who decide to opt out of this test.