Keystone Tests and Finals Cause Concern

Steven Dunn, Staff Writer

It’s December, and while that brings exciting things like snow and holidays, it also reminds students that the Keystone tests are only one month away. Understandably, many students are concerned about their ability to pass these exams.

Freshman Owen Emig said that he was quite anxious about the requirement to pass the Keystones. “Personally, I’m not good at tests, and I get nervous and make mistakes,” he said.

In regards to the idea of studying for the tests, he mentioned that he didn’t have good studying habits. “I’ll most likely tell myself to study and end up not studying at all,” he said. However, studying isn’t the only way to potentially calm any worries about the tests. Emig mentioned that he tends to relieve stress by fiddling with things, preferably his fingers or phone. Phones aren’t permitted during testing.

 Some teachers believe that students are right to be nervous about these tests but considers final exams a more pressing issue. Douglas Hoover said, “Students often disregard finals and they are 20% of their grade. In some cases, a semester’s work is undermined by blowing off a final.”

He said that studying can be worth the boredom, as “acing the final can not just raise their grade, but allow the student to bargain with the teacher to accept the final over a lower marking period.”

This is just how useful studying can be; even if you don’t have a great grade, studying enough for the tests means that you may have a higher class grade than before the test. Hoover also mentioned that students should “actually prepare. If you are prepared, then there’s less stress. And please— go with your 1st answer. Good students often talk themselves out of correct answers. Prepare and then go with your gut.”

Testing periods are always stressful for students, especially those who don’t have a good track record. However, studying, while boring, is a great way to increase your chances of getting a high grade.