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It’s no secret that testing gives some people anxiety. There are many questions surrounding the technique behind today’s testing. How is it that a person’s knowledge on a topic is based off of a piece of paper with some questions on it? Isn’t it true that “test anxiety” has been proven to make people score lower? If so, then it would just seem absurd that one’s intelligence is automatically downgraded because of anxiety.

Teachers every year complain that New York State continues to change its format for final exams, which forces them to change their style of teaching. So many teachers are teaching students for the state exams in June. Why is it that students are not necessarily being taught, but trained, for tests? It’s a definite disadvantage for the students that aren’t perceived as “honor students,” because maybe it’s their anxiety that continues to hold them back from success. Maybe it is that there is so much pressure and competition that there’s no longer a lust for learning but just getting a high number at the top of the paper.

Why is it that a number dictates whether students get into a good college or get that certain diploma? Numbers define students. Some students take grades so seriously that it will ruin them if they do not get a 95 or above. Wanting success is easily understood, but do people want a high number or an education? If people want a high number at the top of a piece of paper, then education would seem to be on the right track, but if they want an education, something should change because students are just being taught to take tests.

Alexandra Zurbrick is a sophomore at Orchard Park High School.