Stress Over End of Year Tests


River Mastel, Staff Writer

Many students and teachers in the Salt Lake City school district can agree that this has been a confusing and tricky year for learning. From complicated new schedules to online methods of learning, there have been a lot of adjustmentmade to typical daily and year-long experiences. 

 These changes have made impacts on the way students learn, study, and complete their work. So, what does this mean for end of year testing that many students are awaiting? 

Unhealthy amounts of stress have been a major problem during the pandemic and school communities have certainly experienced additional amounts. As mentioned, end of year exams have been a major factor in stress, from teachers having to manage the curriculum and try their best to teach the key subjects for testing, to students having to rapidly learn and manage time to study for multiple classes despite the gaps in the schedule. 

The split schedule between classes has obviously created division in studying, as students must prioritize their current term classes and do their best to study for the classes in the previous term. With these significant gaps, memorization has also been difficult and confusing for students alternating between classes every term due to the information retained being rushed already. This has impacted core classes significantly, as important topics are quickly learned and forgotten, meaning that there is some struggle with preparation for end of year exams.  

Typically, end of year tests are heavily prepared for with year-long studying and practicing in physical classrooms, giving students many opportunities for preparation. This school year and the end of last year created barriers in studying and practicing for the tests, leaving students at a disadvantage. Students of course reacted in various ways, mostly revolving around worry and stress. 

One Highland AP student, Elaine Mork, spoke about her experiences with end of year testing and the additional responsibilities that all contribute to her stress. 

“Stress is definitely skyrocketing this year. I’ve never taken a real AP test, and each test for each class is different in format.” Mork said. “Also having a two month break from class before the test does not help at all. I have other classes and other obligations and can’t keep up with the review needed.” 

Stress over testing is something that students go through every year, but this year has both put additional external stress on students and altered the way they can study and prepare. Along with general concern over tests, populations have had to deal with the impact of the pandemic while balancing their work and school lives which, in this case, have also been somewhat cluttered. Many students have commented on the significance of these influences in their time management and test preparation. 

Although stress can be normal, high amounts are known to have detrimental effects on a person’s health. During the pandemic, this has been a significant concern in health experts who understand that a person can easily become overwhelmed. Despite the difficulties many are experiencing, teachers and students should remember that no matter how hard things can seem, things will eventually get better with both the pandemic and the education situation.