The Case for A Special Event Testing Schedule

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As the junior class prepares to take the in-school administration of the SAT next Wednesday, their attention is not solely focused on the exam that will play a significant part in their admissions into higher education. Instead, this year, the National Latin and Greek exams have been scheduled for the following day, March 5. This creates a difficult situation for students, as they are forced to either sacrifice time that could be spent studying for the SAT in order to study for the classical language exam, or focus on the SAT and cram nearly 2 years’ worth of material into one night, practically guaranteeing that their performance on one of these two exams will be suboptimal at best. 

To make matters worse, the week of March 2 is also an ‘A’ week on the predetermined testing schedule, meaning that mathematics teachers must give their exams during this week or risk having to wait another three weeks to give one, ensuring that their students will have to study even more material for this next exam. As a result, most juniors in beginning calculus classes will be forced to further divert their attention from SAT preparation to focus on yet another major exam.

Even worse, some of these calculus exams are being given on the same day as the National Latin and Greek exams, making it extremely difficult for students to study for and perform to the best of their abilities on these exams. Combined, these three exams-given the amount of material they cover, as well as their importance to students’ grades and futures-create a perfect storm of bad luck for juniors, severely impairing their ability to perform well. 

Rather than any changes to the regular testing schedule, which we believe has been relatively successful despite a few early struggles, we propose that a special testing schedule be established for weeks that contain major assessments like the SAT (or other such abnormal disruptions), similar to the one used during the time of AP exams.

Specifically, the week of these assessments should not be part of the regular testing schedule, and the regularly scheduled testing week (in this case an ‘A’ week) should be postponed to the week after the examination. This will help ensure optimal performance on the part of students, while also dramatically reducing stress.