How Standardized Testing Affects Teenager’s Health.

From multiple classes a day to the seemingly never-ending piles of homework and hours of standardized testing, it’s no wonder students nowadays are riddled with anxiety and stress. It’s said that current students enrolled in high school and college possess such a high amount of anxiety and stress that it almost exceeds the levels of those admitted in mental hospitals in the early 1920s. Like many other modern-day high schoolers, my time and memories as a sophomore and junior were almost tainted by the pressure that came with standardized testing. No matter how much I tried to avoid the truth, it seemed that these tests would make or break my entire future.

As a teenager not knowing what my future held, I wasn’t ready to accept that.

Basing an entire student’s academic capability on a four-hour test seemed absurd to me. There are students all over the nation who are gifted academically but are horrible test takers. It happens. But according to these standardized tests you weren't just a child who couldn’t take a test; you were a student who wasn't smart enough. Standardized testing such as the SAT’s and the ACT’s were classifying thousands of students intelligence with just a single number. What's the most nerve-wracking piece of information about all of this is that this number can decide your future. It can determine which college you get into, and which colleges you don't. Whether you get a scholarship or not, or whether you deem yourself smart enough. With enough to worry about in school, standardized testing seemed to the worst of them all.

Many students alike would spend countless hours pouring themselves over practice books, and skip nights of sleep just to cram in more studying in hopes of achieving a good score. All this cramming and sacrifice ends up causing all the more stress that us teenage students face in everyday life. Students even have to pay a significant amount of money every time they desire to take this exam. Which means for some teenagers around the world who do not possess much money can only take it a limited amount of times. This can add even more stress to the students because not only do they have to make sure they do well, but they have to worry about whether or not they can even attempt to do better because of financial issues.

This stress can be the beginning of worse things. High amounts of stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. It’s quite hard for us teenagers to live our best lives with we cannot even handle the stress and workload being thrown at us. Skipping out on nights of sleep to study can lead to sleep schedules being thrown off, causing heart rates to act abnormally, and even mood swings to be highly expected. The stress of a four-hour test can also lead to other major health effects, such as high blood pressure, digestive problems and more.

Standardized testing gives students all over the country hands teenagers another catalyst to the amount of stress we have. Although these tests are a way to measure how ready a student is for the next step in their educational career, many believe it's a time for a change that will be beneficial to all.   

They say that the more work you put in, the better the results. But where do we draw the line when it comes to the mental and physical health of teenagers?