Riley Knouse: Smarter Balanced testing is not a death sentence

Riley Knouse

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To whom it may concern:

Yes, Smarter Balanced testing is the week before the AP exams. And yes, juniors in AP classes and AP teachers are annoyed, to put it lightly.

I’ve been trying very hard to think of how to put a positive light on this situation when I myself am angry with the scheduling. I don’t want to spend time that could be used preparing for a test that does matter taking a test that doesn’t. This feels like very poor planning, and quite frankly, it feels pointless. We are not getting a grade for this and as far as we know now, it isn’t counting for anything.

But we still have to do it. We need to push past this, no matter how much we dislike it.

If anything, this less than pleasant experience can help next year’s AP juniors, because I honestly don’t think the scheduling will stay the same next year with the backlash it’s getting.

I know, you’re probably wondering what we would get from going through this for the sake of years to come.

Well, like I said earlier, this test doesn’t really count for anything for us students. We’ll get the scores back, but it won’t affect any grade. Instead of this test being stressful, it’s just a nuisance. We also get complaining/bragging rights (“Yeah, back in my day we took the SBAC testing right before AP tests, during the classes we needed the most. No biggie.”) There’s also the unconscious gratitude from the years to come. They don’t know they’re thankful, but trust me, deep down, they are.

If none of the above comforted you, then just remember that after the testing, you’ll still be alive. There are a lot of things that can kill us, but this is not one. Whether you come out stronger, exhausted or a strange mix of both depends on the person, but we’ll all be very much alive.

Remember to not make yourself go crazy because of the inconvenient scheduling. What’s done is done, and there’s nothing we can do about this one. We just have to go in there, suck it up and continue to study for history afterwards.

What do you think?