Letter to the Editor: Our Testing Policies Are Ridiculous

Final exams are often the most stressful part of the year – as a large portion of your grade, your performance on exams can easily change your grade by a letter – either up, or down. More than just stressful, though, final exams are also unreasonably boring. 189 minutes of boring. 

For the first few years of elementary school, the EOG’s were miserable – if you finished before the 3 hours were over (nearly everyone did), you had to sit in your seat and do nothing. This policy was later fixed, with people being allowed to read books while waiting for others to finish. 

Perhaps NCBE (North Carolina Board of Education) got a new testing director – because when taking my 1st period EOC this year, people were told that they could not read books, or do anything but draw on scratch paper, until the test was over. 

Benjamin Franklin is often credited with the quote, “Time is Money” – but if time is money, then why are we wasting it? We have students mindlessly sitting at desks, doing nothing, waiting for one person to finish. We have students suffering from enormous amounts of pressure to finish early and save everybody else from misery. Our system benefits nobody – it is immensely boring to those that finish early, and immensely stressful for those who like to take their time. 

We’ve gone through this before, and will go through this again. To finally end this time wasting boredom, we must make NCBE realize the ridiculousness of their own policies. We should require that all NCBE employees working on finalized tests, and all school administrators, take their own tests – with no books, no phones, and no talking for 189 minutes. 

I don’t like paying people for nothing, but sometimes a ridiculous policy requires an equally ridiculous solution.