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The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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On Monday, June 10, the annual Underclassmen Awards ceremony took place inside of WHSs auditorium.

I think that these awards bring motivation to [WHS] students to preform well academically, Sophomore Rufat Hasanov said.
WHS hosts the annual Underclassman Awards ceremony
June 15, 2024
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Opinion: Testing retakes should be an option for students

Join+WSPN%E2%80%99s+Sofia+Ciciarelli+as+she+discusses+the+importance+of+test+retakes+and+how+they+should+be+utilized+to+help+students.
Credit: Sofia Ciciarelli
Join WSPN’s Sofia Ciciarelli as she discusses the importance of test retakes and how they should be utilized to help students.

You just heard your teacher say that they’re returning your last test, and your heart beats rapidly with anxiety. If you fail this test, your grade will drop significantly. When you get your test back, you see a big 58% on the top of the paper and automatically think to yourself, “I’m confused. I don’t understand what I missed.” You expect your teacher to approach you about the grade, but they don’t and you’re left to figure out the situation on your own. If you’ve ever talked to a high school student, you have probably heard of the constant stress they endure on a daily basis. As a high school student myself, I can testify that all aspects of school can take a serious toll on teens’ mental health.

The weight of social expectations, academics and student-teacher relationships can be exhausting for many high school students. 61% of middle school and high school students in the U.S. experience a form of stress in their academic work each day. The expectation of achieving certain grades is one of the biggest contributors to students’ anxiety. If a student fails a test, their overall grade can drop drastically, and it can take strenuous work to bring that grade back to where it originally was. While some people may assume that students are allowed to retake tests if they failed, that isn’t the case at WHS. Here, teachers have the ability to choose whether or not retakes are available for students. I believe that this current system isn’t fair to students, and the school should enforce a general policy that gives students the chance to retake tests when needed.

“There isn’t a policy around test retakes,” WHS Principal Allyson Mizoguchi said. “There’s nothing that says that they are not allowed or that they must be allowed. So it’s really up to teacher discretion and individual circumstances.”

Many students struggle with test-taking. They might even understand the topic, yet struggle to perform well when taking a test. “Mercy College” refers to this as “test anxiety and [that] it occurs when students are too nervous to recall learned material during an exam.” Test-taking is not only a proof of understanding, but a skill every student has to master. Many students struggle with test-taking for several reasons, such as anxiety. This is stressful because there is currently emphasis on test grades in the gradebook. Instead, teachers should be straying away from tests and focusing more on homework grades, projects etc.. This raises the question of whether or not school systems are relying too heavily on assessments as a proof of understanding. According to “Bored Teachers” teacher Laura Hugens, giving students the option to retake tests can relieve the pressure of achieving the highest possible grade.

While I understand that there should be restrictions on test retakes, it’s odd that students aren’t allowed a second chance to prove that they do in fact understand a certain concept. According to “Education Week,” teachers should give students opportunities to further their understanding of a topic after initially having some gaps in their knowledge. Allowing students to retake a test not only betters their grade, but gives them the chance to solidify their knowledge and resolve their confusions.

There are many different resources that students at WHS can use for assistance, like the academic center, student tutors or their teachers. Despite this, teachers should be students’ first resource for help. More can be done between students and individual teachers to ensure a student’s understanding of a topic.

Personally, when I don’t do well on a test, my teacher does not approach me with any concern about my lack of understanding. Of course, students can always meet with teachers afterwards to discuss their test, but I believe that a greater emphasis should be put on teachers and students following up after assessments. This would ensure that the student is learning the information, which is what school’s all about…right?

There are many factors that contribute to a bad grade, whether that’s home life, social life or other things. So, it is important that not only WHS administration but also teachers support their students and give grace in the moments when students are not performing the best academically.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Ciciarelli
Sofia Ciciarelli, Staff Reporter
Sofia Ciciarelli, class of 2026, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She is a varsity runner for the cross country and track teams. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her dogs, spending time in Vermont and watching shows. Contact: [email protected]
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