Space out tests, please

By Arielle Maxner

Tests for all of my academic subjects are inevitable. I understand why we have them and their importance in evaluating how much we learn, pushing us to fully comprehend the material. What I do not understand, however, is why tests occur in rapid sequence.

One test is hard enough, but it becomes more a test of endurance than a test of the subject when exams pile up on one another, sometimes occurring all on the same day. That is why it is good that the current Harvard-Westlake policy allows students to move tests when they have more than three occurring on the same date. Still, what about tests happening day after day? It is stressful enough to prepare for one, but to have to immediately move on and frantically study a different subject leads to a breaking point. There is only so much time in the day, and some of it needs to be for rest, to recuperate. Tests are tiring.

It seems that for most classes, no matter the subject, the unit finishes around the same date as the units for other classes. This means that tests coincide in the calendar. It happens with quizzes, too. And essays. Everything manages to be due or occur in the same time frame. Maybe it is unavoidable for units to end at the same time. After all, they all start at the same time. Still, it would be nice if teachers staggerred from the first day of school, and if, instead of having a concentrated week or two of marathon testing, there were maybe one or two tests a week.

How could this happen, you ask? Teachers do not try enough to coordinate their lesson plans to ensure different test dates. This could be accomplished with a simple testing calendar, viewable to specified users who could input the tests. Students would not even need to see it if it effectively organized testing.

Sure, there is no possible way to ensure that every class has its own test week, but departments could negotiate weeks reserved for testing in their subject. Students doubling up on subjects would then have two tests in the week, but that is highly preferable to tests on two consecutive days.