Testing season stress impacts all of the student community


Photo courtesy of: Jenny Liu

Jenny Liu’s study space is organized as she prepares for her finals exams and SOL testing.

Madisyn Feliciano, Staff Writer

In the last two months of school, testing season takes over. Many students are stressed as they face the long extensive tests and the fact that college credit is often at stake. Some students even find themselves taking multiple exams a day. 

   Many feel like testing stress is an upperclassmen issue, when in reality it affects all grades. Some underclassmen take AP classes, and freshmen now have to take the newly implemented end-of-course writing exam. This series of tests requires this year’s class of freshmen to complete one writing assessment now and two during their sophomore year to show their growth in the subject matter and earn a verified writing credit in lieu of the previous SOL Writing test. That being said, everyone is stressed with exams, not just juniors and seniors. 

   Senior Saniya Acree knows first hand the stress of the testing season as she prepares to head off to college in the fall. She is taking AP Literature, AP Government, AP Environmental Science, and AP Psychology this year, and with all the AP tests being practically back to back, this can cause a lot of stress. 

   “I’m just studying and trying to take everything step by step,” Acree said. 

  The AP exams were online last year because of Covid restrictions, but now they are all back on paper, including the essays, the multiple choice section, and FRQ. The FRQ is the free response question part of the AP exam, and it is typically either in essay or long answer format. With this being the first in-person year where students can take AP exams since the pandemic began, it can be a hard adjustment for some; however, Acree finds it beneficial. 

   “It’s better this way since everything is on paper again instead of online,” Acree said.  

   But not everyone finds this in-person testing exciting, especially since the return to in-person learning has also meant the return of final exams. Even though she isn’t taking any AP courses, sophomore Jenny Liu is taking plenty of final exams. 

   “I am taking the Spanish final, chemistry final, World History and Geography II final, English final, Algebra II final, and the Reading SOL,” Liu said. 

   She is most nervous for her chemistry and history final exams as these courses have been the most challenging to her throughout the year. She does her best to keep up, but acknowledges the work comes with some challenges in the exam prep routine.

   “Yes, crying, procrastinating, and studying,” Liu said. 

   Some students may a tougher time managing the stress of all the upcoming finals and SOLs. Since this is technically their first year of in-person high school for about half of the school, this can be a large adjustment. Students will do best to take the time to study and remember to breathe; the summer is nearly here.