Testing causes stress, anxiety among students


Alex Biazzo, Reporter

12:30 the clock reads. Not much later it feels like, the clock instead reads 12:40, then 12:50. Time is flying, and you’re not even done. Nerve settles in as the skinny red second hand inches closer to the top again to count yet another minute.

Tests. For many students, tests are terrible things. Tests may cause mass anxiety and stress, especially when there is a large quantity of tests, making anxiety a recurring feeling. The average student may feel discouraged after a test, wearing them down. This is not good, as it can lead to bad habits. Students may not even want to come to school or study. Students can fall behind due to such stress. Students may even feel that their teachers are to blame.

“Most of the time I don’t study, not that I have the time anyway,” said junior Kelsie Flood said. Like many other students, Flood hates tests.

“When I hear of a test, I have a mini-heart attack.”

Flood is just an average student with above average grades, but even she dreads tests. 

“When I take a test, I feel rushed and lazy,” she said.

However, unless the teacher enjoys watching students be subjected to such torment, they don’t mean for such feelings to occur. 

“I try to use a variety of different questions to apply to different learners,” said  Mrs. Amy Taylor, who teaches Honors and College Prep biology classes.

Taylor attempts to be more flexible with their tests, as they attempt to appeal to many different types of students. 

“I try to reflect on how I taught the subject,” she added. “I use it as a tool to improve my teaching skills.”

What could be the source of the anxiety? Could it be the format? Many teachers also attempt to accommodate for this.

“I like to give a combination of questions, so I give a mixture of them.” Taylor stated.

The format of the test is very important, as it can decide which students pass and which students don’t. This, however, only adds fuel to the fire.

“Some subjects like history are fine because it’s just memorization” Said Flood. The type of test does matter for many students, because as Flood said, it’s just simple memorization. “Subjects like math and science, however, requires a lengthy process, so it becomes redundant real quick.” she added.

Flood recognizes the way she was taught: schools don’t teach you to think of the most reasonable answers, they teach you to work around a question and find the best method to get an answer.

Let’s go back to the quantity of tests. Many students have at least one test a week, and sometimes that’s a lot to handle.

 “At the end of a chapter I give a formal test,” Taylor said. 

Giving a test once in a great while is efficient, as it provides teachers with what students know and what they should teach next. 

“During the chapter I give quizzes and labs to show understanding” Taylor added.

Having different activities for students to do can make them feel more comfortable. However, required standardized tests present another problem.

“I don’t think standard tests like the PARCC are necessary, especially since they’re so hyped up,” said Flood. Flood hates how big these tests are made to be, as she has enough on her plate already. On top of homework and regular class tests, standardized and required tests just put the cherry on top of this big layered cake of stress.

“Aren’t good grades enough?”