The disruptions of testing


May Lewis, Staff Writer

Stress fills the room. Rows of desks evenly spaced will have pencils ready to be distributed. When you arrive at your testing room, anxiety builds up as the 4-hour test is about to begin. Read, bubble, read, bubble, read, bubble. This goes through every junior’s mind on March 7th, ACT day. The ACT, for most people, is a test that is not only nerve-racking but a deciding factor for college applications. It’s vital. 

When taking this kind of test, students need and want the best testing conditions: a quiet room, a good test administrator, and no eruptions. But for many students this year, these goals still needed to be met.

Ashley Russ is one of many who experienced these challenges.

“My testing was just not good, for a person who is not a good test taker the added stress is not needed.” Russ explains. “I was put in the wrong room. I am a person who has extended time so this stressed me out.” 

Even though this might be a simple mistake, this creates anxiety. You start to ask the question of whether I will get moved. Will I have enough time? Will this affect my scores?

ACT testing and scores stress students, especially in today’s society, where students take numerous AP classes. These classes take up much time, and preparing for a standardized test can be challenging and time-consuming. The challenges previously mentioned can be very frustrating for those who do prepare.

“Although I had a nice environment, I think it would be very hard to focus in a loud room or not knowing what time it was or how much time I had left,” Russ said. 

Even though Russ had a suitable testing environment, she says coming prepared and dealing with these issues would be very frustrating.

Sarah Welsh is a junior this year who is taking five AP classes and is part of the RJ Reynolds dance team. Welsh not only has to balance her AP classes with dance but also with ACT practice. During her testing, she explained that she wished for a quieter environment. 

“I had an okay testing environment, everyone was well-behaved but the windows were open so I could hear people outside every now and then,” Welsh said. This sort of distraction could have been avoided.

These small things can drive people crazy and can be avoided; this makes testing feel disorganized and sometimes not serious. From talking to slamming doors, this interferes with focus and, sadly, can affect scores. These tests should be taken more seriously. 

I went into my room feeling ready;  I had been studying and had taken many practice tests beforehand. But unfortunately, I came out knowing I was going to do poorly. My room was very distracting. There was a constant opening and closing of the doors as well as another administrator walking in and out. I am someone who has ADD so this made me feel very uneasy. I think RJR needs to be more aware of how important these tests can be for kids, so they can do their best.  Looking forward I think it’s important that RJR follows stricter rules and be more considerate of testers.