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Story by Chyna Wallace

Since the start of student’s high school career and even before that they are forced to take quizzes, tests, midterms and finals. But no matter what they take, it affects the students in different ways and the results of the test may or may not show how smart the student is.

There’s no avoiding taking tests in high school, whether it’s a midterm, or a quiz to review information in class or a final at the end of the year. These tests can affect whether your grade for that class increases or decreases or if you pass that class for the year. With all this pressure, the student may feel some stress when taking the test, they may miss something that they normally wouldn’t.

A student could be an ‘A’ student, but when a test lands in front of them they can freeze and their mind go blank and fail the test. How is that fair for a student to be judged on the fact that they don’t test well?

These tests follow the students for the rest of their high school career and college, so when they don’t test well but are still a great student, should they be judged for that?

According to the American Text Anxieties Organization 16 to 20% of students in America have high test anxiety, and another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety. That’s approximately 38% of high school students in America that suffer from anxiety.

Test anxiety means that students “blank” or freeze during a test. The student’s working memory reduces, confuses reasoning, increases mistakes and this all lowers the test scores.

Some students can have test anxiety every test they take, others can have it just for one specific test. One-time test anxiety can be caused by lack of preparation, cramming the night before, poor study habits etc.

The question comes up though, how do these tests help the students learn the material? The tests are just adding more pressure to high school students than they already have.

While this reporter agrees that tests help students review and remember material so they can connect the information to the new unit, if they don’t test well and the teacher thinks they need to go back over the material again that’s decreasing the time students have to learn new material.

There are some solutions for students suffering from test anxiety. For example: review the material a week before the test, ask the teacher the format of the test, make a list of the topics on the test, test yourself on the material and DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. For more tips on how to handle test anxiety visit http://sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/testanxiety.html.

Tests should not be the only thing that teachers rely on to show a student’s strengths and weakness, but instead on what they prove themselves to be in the classroom.