Examining the Exams Opinions

‘Test Optional’ schools should lower stress of standardized testing

By Graham Armknecht ’18
THE ROUNDUP

Brophy students’ fear over standardized testing is understandable, but with more schools taking a test optional approach, students should not stress as much.

Even outside of the major college tests such as the SAT or ACT, students going into Brophy start with the High School Placement Test, or HSPT for short.

“I remember being stressed out about the HSPT,” said Carson Mullins ‘19. “My acceptance into Brophy hinged on it so I studied quite a bit for it.”

As a sophomore, stress doesn’t really pile up about any standardized testing.

While all students are required to take the PSAT, there isn’t as much stress for it since it is lower stakes and it’s more of a diagnostic for what to expect. No other major testing takes place for sophomores after the PSAT.

While there isn’t much testing during sophomore year, there is more testing for juniors and seniors.

“Right now, there isn’t a lot of stress for the SAT for me,” said Jack Brown ’17. “Right now, there isn’t a huge amount of stress, but I assume as the date for the tests grow closer and my classes get harder, I could see myself being stressed. I’ll be preparing for the SAT by taking Ms. Mason’s prep class in the spring.”

While it might be stressful to take tests, it may not matter as much as it used to.

“Colleges are starting to go test optional, relying more on the student’s profile,” said College Counselor said Mr. Oscar Borboa ’07. “The state schools, NAU, ASU and U of A are going test optional, and only asking for standardized testing scores if you’d like to be considered for a scholarship.”

“However, big schools that receive huge numbers of applications will probably keep the SAT required to help go through applications faster,” Mr. Borboa added.

After writing this column, my stress about future testing while not gone, but I have to admit it is certainly diminished with the opportunities test optional schools offer.