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State Testing is Here

Important but Stressful

Teachers at Utah Military Academy have used IXL during the 2023-2024 school year in hopes that they can help cadets improve their state test scores.

This year, state testing starts on April 22. Most cadets don’t like state testing from the basic reason that it is still testing, However there are other variables that cause cadets to hate state testing such as sitting quietly in uncomfortable desks for prolonged periods of the school day.

While some might think that the testing isn’t needed and is a waste of time, The Utah State Board of Education says state testing is done “to measure individual students’ progress in achieving proficiency in speaking , listening to, comprehending, reading , and writing academic English”. While these are language based parts of the tests, there are also parts of the test that contain Math and Science.

The tests are done to measure students’ proficiency in curricular areas. Columbia Virtual Academy says that “State assessment data is a primary measurement of student learning recognized and used by state educators and legislative officials to make decisions concerning public education.”. Not only is it  a way to find out where students are in proficiency, but the data also helps influence decisions that are made for public education.

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Unfortunately, there are negative results of standardized and high stakes testing as well. says state testing programs have resulted in increased student isolation, stress, and worry.”. Ucla School Mental Health Project says “it is estimated that 40-60% of students are negatively affected by test anxiety.” 

Cadets at UMA feel this pressure. Cadet Christopher Davis agrees in expressing his dislike for state testing, “Cause when I do tests I freak out to the point where I forget everything.” So the main problem with testing stress might not be the stress before the test, but the stress that happens during the test.

Keeping a routine is the number one best way to manage exam stress according to HSE.  However one of the more arguable ways to manage exam stress is by studying the material. One way that is specifically set up to improve test scores is IXL.  IXL claims that “higher IXL usage leads to better performance”.   

So while a negative part of state testing is the stress that inevitably comes along with it. It also provides a positive perspective, that finds how proficient a student is, but also how much a student has improved.


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