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by Olivia W '14

Tests, Tests, Tests, and More Tests!

From third grade to eighth grade, New York State students have been required to take New York state tests. There has never been a huge amount of prep for them at BSGE because BSGE already provides an accelerated level of learning. Unlike most other New York Public schools however, BSGE’s 8th graders not only have to take these state tests, but also the Regents exams in some subjects. This year 8th graders will be taking the Living Environment Regents and the Integrated Algebra Regents. Now, students in the 8th grade must be prepared for regular, in-class tests, state tests, and Regents exams.
Although it is a lot of work, some students are okay with taking the Regents this year if it means less testing next year. When asked how she felt, Isabella Hernandez answered, “I want to take the Regents this year and get them over with so that next year I don’t have to worry. School is going to get harder anyway, so I might as well take them as soon as possible.” Other students feel that these extra tests are just a waste of energy. Katelynne Cabello explained, “Well, to be honest, I’m pretty annoyed considering that we get enough tests during the whole school year anyway. Regents are not as bad as they seem, but all of us freak out because the education system makes them seem like they’re such a big deal.” Whether or not people are against taking them, it is no longer up to them. They just have to try and do their best.
The eighth grade Living Environment Regents Exam covers scientific method, genetics, reproduction, ecology, evolution, homeostasis, and human impact. The date for the exam is June 16, 2010. Every student that is going to take the test is required to have participated in 20 hours of laboratory work. If you do not complete the labs, you will not be able to take the test. 8th graders here at BSGE are actually taking a 9th grade level living environment course, so they are pushing themselves to do well. Regents practice books are always a good study tool, and talking to your teachers about other methods may be helpful. When asked about preparing for the test, Habiba Habazam said, “I think that we will get a fair amount of practice before we take the tests. If you review enough, the exams aren’t that bad.” Even though many students are stressed about this test, the hard work that goes into studying pays off in the end.
The second Regents exam that 8th graders must take is the Integrated Algebra Exam on June 18th. This covers expressions, inequalities, patterns, relations, equations, number theory, coordinate geometry, shapes, and probability. For this exam, the Barron’s Regents Exam book is very helpful when preparing for the test this coming June. Later this month, there will be a mandatory test prep session after 6th period one day a week for the students taking the Algebra Regents. Even though this is supposed to help students out, many kids were dismayed to find out about this. One student said, “Why do I have to go to this? I already go to class and do all of my work. Why do I have to stay two hours after school for something I already know?” Although many students would prefer not to attend these sessions, it is meant to further ready them for what is soon to come.
8th graders have always taken the State ELA and Math tests and this is the last year that they will be required to take them. A majority of students at BSGE find these to be fairly easy, but this year there has been a twist thrown in to the normal State testing. 8th graders must take the State Social Studies Exam. The topics on this test are mainly different conflicts and changes throughout the different time periods in American History. When asked about it, Kevin Likhtshteyn responded, “I didn’t know that we had to take that test and I’m not even sure if I am prepared at all.” To some, it was a surprise that they would have to take this exam.
Although these are a lot of different tests to be taking in one year, the 8th graders of BSGE will be able to handle it if they concentrate one test at a time. Studying and being prepared will lead to success on the test, as well as getting a good night’s rest the night before and eating a healthy breakfast that morning. But remember, it only gets worse in high school!

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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