Terça-feira, 16/7/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Students debate the effectiveness of Test Prep classes

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All Gull Lake Juniors are enrolled into Test Prep, but they can opt out of it if they do not have room in their schedule. The Test Prep classes are credit or no credit and are held during the second trimester. Photo by Sierra Veenkant

All Gull Lake juniors are enrolled into Test Prep, but they can opt out of it if they do not have room in their schedule. The Test Prep classes are credit or no credit, and are held during the second trimester to help students prepare for upcoming standardized testing in the spring. Photo by Sierra Veenkant.

In high school, junior year may put a lot of pressure on students due to difficult classes, college preparation and standardized tests, like the SAT and ACT, that can basically predict one’s future.

At Gull Lake High School, all junior students are automatically enrolled into a class called Test Prep, designed to help and prepare students for the SAT and ACT. The now focuses on the SAT format because the State of Michigan changed from previously requiring the ACT to now requiring juniors to take the completely redesigned SAT in April.

The class is split, with half of the trimester devoted to math and the other to reading and writing. In the class, students learn test taking strategies, time management skills, and other useful tools that may be needed on the test. Students also take online quizzes through Khan Academy and many written practice tests to mimic what the real SAT will be like.

There are two math department teachers: Karl Anderson and Heather Shaffer, and two English department teachers: Trisha Stevens and Nicole Myers who each take two hours of their work day to teach the Test Prep classes.

Some students say it is a beneficial class, while others say it is a waste of their time.

“The practice tests are helpful but the Khan Academy online practice is not because it doesn’t show you what to do when you get a problem wrong,” junior Maria Morrison said.

Other students feel that the class time is not being used effectively.

“It seems like we do the same things everyday; it gets kind of boring, and many of us just start to slack off,” junior Sabrina Tummons said. “I think the teachers should come up with different activities that are helpful but interesting too.”

The Test Prep classes do have potential to increase the student’s future standardized test scores. However, the system needs improvement, teachers need training in new materials and technology that can be used as educational tools. 

Sierra Veenkant

I'm Sierra Veenkant, I am in 11th grade and this is my first year on the newspaper staff. I am a competitive dancer and dedicate a lot of my time to that. I write the beat reports on the Enviornmental Club for the newspaper and enjoy writing other articles relating to the arts.


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