Examination Suffocation: The Modern Student’s Dilemma


For any high school student, at any academic level, this time of year presents much stress and discomfort. The notion that summer vacation rests on the horizon still is not enough to obscure the undebatable truth: before the school year concludes, we must first be suffocated by a wide array of tests, ranging from APs to SATs to ACTs to Regents to final exams. They really pile them on.

The majority of juniors–and maybe some ambitious sophomores–take the SAT and/or ACT towards the end of the school year. These tests require a seemingly endless number of study hours, and even then, the effort required to achieve standardized testing greatness is incomparably intense.

“I have been more or less studying for the SAT and ACT every night for over a year now, and I’m just praying that my other teachers don’t pile on the work this close to my testing days,” said Anthony Salemi, BHS Junior.

It is also important to note that Anthony plays for the Bethpage varsity baseball team. As many students do, Anthony battles through the grind of balancing athletics and academics, which yields way too much added stress, exacerbated by painful time constraints.

“We really should have fewer finals thrown at us, because most of us also have to take a bunch of Regents tests and AP tests at the end of the year,” said Jason Danglo, BHS Junior (and AP student).

For many high school students, Bethpage attendees in particular, AP (Advanced Placement) classes are increasingly an academic norm. To be enrolled in any “AP” course, one must not only be skilled in the given subject but must also possess an intense work ethic. With that said, it isn’t too difficult to see how AP exams provide unprecedented pressures that can make this time of year that much more challenging.

Regents’ examinations are, for many students, a daunting task. As they are essential for graduation and count as a fifth of your final grade in any given class, the Regents are very scary tests.

“They make me insanely nervous,” said BHS Junior Patrick Leon. “On top of all my other ‘end of year’ tests, I have to constantly worry about my Regents’ grades.”

Patrick is also an “AP” student and is living, breathing evidence that this phenomenon of test overload affects even the school’s finest students. At any level of academic achievement, students can breathe sighs of relief, knowing that we all venture down this road of test stress together.

Yes, all this rigorous testing definitely leaves much to be desired, but this is no excuse to shut down nor stop trying. Of course, this time of year carries burdensome stresses of “examination suffocation.” However, it is imperative they we put our bitterness and animosity towards the testing machine aside for the time being, so that we can work for the grades that we desire and get into the colleges to which we aspire.