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Teens stressed about tests

Alexa Flower
Vail, CO Colorado
Preston Utley/Vail DailyCatherine Woods studies Wednesday at Battle Mountain High School. For Woods and other students, standardized tests can cause anxiety.
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EAGLE-VAIL ” Catherine Woods is a good student, but when it comes to tests, it’s a whole other story.

“I struggle with anxiety attacks before and during tests,” says Woods, a junior at Battle Mountain High School. “So it’s difficult for me to do my best.”

Woods is just one of several students at Battle Mountain High who struggle with the pressure of standardized tests, like the SAT or CSAP.

“Testing is a very controversial issue,” says Battle Mountain High guidance counselor Jan Abbott. “Some believe that the tests are not fair and are biased against students with different backgrounds. Test scores are not the best predictors of grades in college.”

Nowadays, standardized testing can play significant role in a student’s future, according to the Association for Childhood Education International. A poor test score can keep a student out of the college of their choice, or keep them out of advanced classes in high school.

“Standardized tests are stressful because it is a one-shot, three-hour chance to show how well your can do,” Abbott says.

This brings up the burning question: Can a student’s intelligence, performance, and achievements be determined solely by standardized testing?

Some students at Battle Mountain High School think not. “You learn more in life by interacting with professors, students, and class activities then taking a dry test,” Woods says.

Melody Rosen, a sophomore at Battle Mountain is an honor-roll student who says she does well on both on tests and in class. “I study a lot for tests because they are put into higher consideration. But to base acceptance off of that is unfair,” she says.

Battle Mountain students take anywhere between three and six standardized tests a year. They are spread out though the course of the year and may be taken more than once.

“It’ll help if students can become familiar with the format, test questions and material, pacing, and strategies,” Abbott says.

Still some students don’t think test should matter so much.

“When you are in class,” Woods says, “you are interacting with plenty of faces and minds that can shape you into what you want to be in life. I’d rather do that than sit in front of a paper with black ink that does nothing but stare right back at you.”

Alexa Flower is a Battle Mountain High School junior and an intern for the Vail Daily.


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