It’s time to rethink the inconsistency of testing at South


Photo courtesy of HSLDA

Rishi Lulla , staff writer


It’s a word that often makes me rethink what classes I’m taking and reconsider what kind of college I am “qualified” for. There is a problem with testing at South: the inconsistency of it. 

In my experience, tests in the Math and Spanish Departments, as well as certain classes in the Science Department, are heavily weighted and may decide your grade. This is a huge stressor for students, and the idea that one exam, such as a final, could make or break your grade is preposterous to me. On the other hand, some science classes have quizzes administered every day. While these quizzes are weighed less, they are administered often, which makes them stressful as well.

Cameron Muir, the Associate Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, said that different departments make their own choices about testing and teachers often decide on the format of their tests. This allows for a more customizable teaching approach, in which different teachers have their own style of instruction and assessment. For example, one teacher may give a quiz every class and another might give a quiz every week.

However, one of the problems with this system is that when every department customizes their tests to fit their own approach, it can lead to students having to deal with many different kinds of assignments that can quickly become overwhelming if not done in a timely manner.

Another problem with testing at South is the number of tests that students take at a time. Having a test on one day is manageable, but having three tests on a single day is too much. On any given day a student could have multiple quizzes and tests, which can lead to an excessive amount of studying.

Students at South often complain about their workloads. While I also have grievances with my workload, it would be more manageable if students were not being tested as much. We should be tested less often, allowing us to focus on learning rather than worrying about what might be on a test.

I have had to develop strategies for success in South, such as always being ready for an impromptu quiz. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy, and many students have talked to me about how hard their workload can be. The pressure to succeed can be, at times, suffocating.

However, it’s not always like this. Teachers at South have made their finals to be more reflection and less unnecessary assessments, which have been an extremely popular decision with students. 

So maybe, the best people to implement changes are teachers – after all, they have the best connection with students and many of us feel they’re mentors that we can look up to.

A change must be made at South: tests and quizzes must be less common and more consistent across departments. And in terms of actual decisions about testing, there should be more input allowed from students and parents to ensure that our mental health, as well as our academic success, is prioritized.