The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Testing Season Takes Over Gables

Kate Kuryla
Sophomores Yara Korse, Barbara Teixeira and Irela Montelongo stress over their upcoming exams. They are overwhelmed by their PSAT and FAST tests.

As students return to Coral Gables Senior High prepared for the new school year, they are unfortunately already hit with the stress of testing season. Indeed, Miami-Dade County Public Schools has continued to add multiple exams required for each grade level. With what seems like an endless number of tests to complete, students start suffering from burnout earlier than usual.

As the testing season gets extended, it now begins in October with the PSAT and continues throughout the rest of the academic year. There is seemingly an endless supply of district, state and even national tests to complete. Whether digital or on paper, the stress exams places on students is tremendous. The pressure from teachers and staff to perform well causes Cavaliers to be in a constant state of panic. Without an anxiety-free moment, many become mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. This can lead to worse effects such as dropping grades and a feeling of hopelessness, possibly even depression.

“Standardized tests do not help anyone; they let a numerical score define a student. They do not actually show anything about a person’s intelligence or potential. They are one of the parts of the public school system that need to be changed for the better,” sophomore Alyssa Dopico said.

Recently, the Florida Standard Assessment, which was taken only once at the end of the school year, has been replaced by the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking. Governor Ron DeSantis implemented this change, claiming that it would allow students and teachers to react and adjust their lesson plans based on the results of the tests.

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However, the FAST has done more harm than good. It is taken three times a year, which causes students to grow tired of testing sooner in the year. For those taking academically challenging courses, it is especially hard to balance a packed schedule with all of the exams. Testing seems to be inescapable and takes away valuable instructional time, causing teachers to fall behind in their lesson plans.

“Testing season always becomes stressful and overwhelming for me, and by the end of it I’m extremely burnt out. There are so many tests happening all around the same time, and it’s really difficult to manage. On top of studying for the tests, I’m also missing class time, so I have to make up the classwork that I wasn’t able to do,” sophomore Adriana Garcia said.

Many students experience burnout at some point in their high school careers, but sometimes it can become very severe, especially when testing becomes an almost everyday occurrence. By springtime, most students are already looking forward to their summers, and studying for their final exams seems like a chore. They have already been tested so frequently that it is difficult for them to focus.

“When testing season starts I get really nervous. The possibility of failing is always in the back of my mind, but when I finish the tests I feel extremely relieved. I try to push myself through testing season as well as I can even if I feel like I can’t do it,” sophomore David Santamaria said.

Fortunately, most teachers take into account the workload students are given during testing season. To prevent their students from developing burnout, they provide additional support. Teachers help their students prepare for exam season by encouraging them to rest and giving them time to review in class. Testing is a stressful time for everyone, and it is important to prioritize everyone’s mental health.

“During testing season I feel extremely stressed, especially for my AP tests. This year I’m taking 3 AP’s versus only taking one last year, which was stressful enough. I remember studying for hours on end, having to cancel plans to make time to study, and sometimes crying simply because I felt unprepared for the test. But once I take all of my tests, I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders,” sophomore Samantha Gonzalez said.

This upcoming May, all seniors in the International Baccalaureate program have been given the chance to stay at home to study on exam days, only showing up to take it. This will give them the freedom to better manage their schedules and maximize studying. Not having to attend their classes will significantly cut back on their stress and prevent them from developing burnout.

Although some may argue that seniors will waste their time and sleep in late, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Not only will students have more time to study, but they will also feel less overwhelmed when it comes to taking their exams.

By tackling procrastination, sleeping seven to nine hours every night and creating reasonable goals, students can significantly reduce their chances of becoming burnt out. It is important that all students care for their physical and mental health, even if school is extremely demanding.

Test after test has now become the new reality for MDCPS students and teachers. Although teachers provide students with the support and guidance needed, the pressure is on. Some lucky students will sail through these exams effortlessly, while others will struggle to keep their heads afloat. By creating a healthy balance between their academics and their mental health, exam season is no match for the Cavaliers.

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About the Contributor
Kate Kuryla
Kate Kuryla, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Kate Kuryla is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program who is excited to return to Cavsconnect for her second year as a staff writer. Aiming to improve since her previous year as a freshman, Kuryla is entering sophomore year with a new mindset. This past summer she was rarely home, as she was traveling to Scandinavia, Turkey and Italy. She definitely came back from her trip part Italian. She loves to try all kinds of food and listen to all types of music, but her favorite artist has to be Lana Del Rey. She hopes that maybe one day Del Rey will come to Miami on tour. When Kate is not doing schoolwork or with her friends and family, you can find her curled up in bed sleeping. She dreams of moving to New York City one day and have a cat to keep her company. Kate does not know what she will major in yet, but she believes it will be either in the medical field or law studies. She’s very indecisive. Hopefully sophomore year will guide her on the right path to success.

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