Too Much Testing?


Too much testing causes a large amount of stress in high school students.

Staff Editorial

Between curriculum tests during class, final exams, and standardized testing such as the ACT, SAT, and the new PARCC, our staff agrees that the amount of testing at Libertyville High School should be decreased.

To many students, taking tests seems to be a never-ending cycle.  Students will learn the material, cram for the test, take the test, then forget the material.  This routine of testing is not beneficial for students because they usually do not retain the knowledge in their long-term memory.  In addition, this cycle is very time-consuming and it may damage the social aspects of a student’s life.

Between tests over topics in the curriculum and final exams, our staff believes that  grades put too much emphasis on testing rather than knowledge itself.  The point of students going to school for the first 18-plus years of their lives is to receive a good education.  However, the amount of testing that takes place within the school has shifted the focus from education to getting good grades.  Our staff concluded that if more direct application of learning was used in place of regular testing, students would not only learn more, but they would enjoy learning it.

Even after a student endures the various tests in all of their classes throughout the semester, they still must pass their dreaded final exams. Our staff found that practical-application finals and final projects are much more helpful than standard final exams.  For instance, the Graphics class has to make a business card for their final.  With this type of final, students are able to show what they have learned over the semester, while also doing so in an entertaining and interesting way.

With regular finals, students are forced into the same cycle as mentioned earlier, but on an even larger scale.  They must relearn the facts that they have most likely forgotten from earlier in the semester, they must cram for hours on end in order to prepare for the final, and then they will forget the material by the end of the exam period.

Students are not only pressured to do well on classroom exams but standardized tests as well.  Between the ACT, the SAT, and now the PARCC exam,  students feel forced to spend much time and money in order to score well on these tests.  These tests play a major role in deciding students’ futures, and our staff believes that this gives some students an unfair disadvantage.  With the ACT, many students take classes and pay for tutors in order to improve their scores.  However, many students cannot afford to spend the time or money for these classes, due to various reasons;  some students are too busy with work or sports to partake in this extra studying.  Because of these reasons, some students will not be able to score as high, and their futures may suffer.  Our staff believes that in order for the standardized test system to be improved, every student should get equal opportunities to prepare for the tests.

Students can experience many negative side effects as a result of over-testing.  Many students are under a great deal of stress due to the amount of testing, and this causes many negative effects on the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause headaches, muscle pains, sleep problems, anxiety, and even depression.  Our staff does not think any high school students should have to deal with these problems, which is why the amount of testing should be decreased.

There are many ways for teachers to test their students’ knowledge without using testing itself.  Our staff concluded that tests can be useful at times, but the amount of testing should be reduced because of the stress it puts on students.  Classes should strive to have a more even ratio of tests, quizzes, and projects.  This will take stress off of students and possibly improve their overall attitude towards school.