by Brooke Nowakowski | Editor-in-Chief
I am taking six tests this week.
If that statement doesn’t raise some eyebrows, I don’t think that anything can, unless I were to inform you that Snookie just rode a unicycle over a wire suspended from the Tower of the Americas to the AT&T satellite atop our school. That’s right, kids: Snookie is in the building! Or, on top of it. But I digress.
I’m still whispering to myself in the quiet moments between frantic study for the quizzes that are scheduled beside the examinations: I have six tests to take this week. I will admit that I am at fault for one. But scheduling a November 6 SAT date is hardly worthy of such karmic toe-stomping. The other five were utterly out of my hands, and probably will remain that way when my glazed eyes meet the Scantron six times over the next several days. I may as well turn in a blank paper, or this column, if sleep deprivation makes me brave.
Tuesday will bring tests in psychology, pre-calculus, and U.S. history. Wednesday bears a Latin test. Thursday will allow me to catch my breath, sleep, and review for Friday’s biology test. Finally, I will rise at the crack of dawn for my first SAT on Saturday morning. If I ultimately crash over the essay portion in a weepy, nervous wreck, you can consider this column my last statement as a relatively sane sixteen-year-old.
What happened? As a student concerned the pursuit of the “most difficult coursework made available” to me (thank you, Harvard admissions office), I rely on the word of the faceless powers-that-be that when it comes to scheduling, somehow, everything will work out. I love my teachers, and I want to perform well in their respective examinations as a testament to their prowess as educators. However, that is virtually impossible when the overlap is as extreme as seen this week. I understand that AP coursework presents challenges unique to collegiate study. In fact, in conversation with my cousin, a college freshman, I realized the scenario is quite like that of her own school experience at the moment, as midterms are administered; similar, but with a catch. We test not bi-monthly, but bi-weekly. And so long as these tests continue, in what my peers refer to as a rotating ‘easy week’-’bad week’ pattern, our performance will suffer in more ways than one.
I can say without a hint of doubt that I will fall short on this week’s round of tests. I will give a showing that my teachers will see as below-par in relation to past exams and classwork. No explanation will be asked for, and, beside this, none given.
Yet if the focus of these test dates was less poised against those lighthearted souls that ran about last night for Halloween, it might become apparent that some students spent the weekend beating themselves in the head with a Princeton Review book instead. Perhaps such a student decided to sleep on the weeknights, rather than seek out the minutiae of the review sheets or scrutinize each quiz administered over the last unit. That student will indeed fail to meet expectations on each and every test given tomorrow.
She will also have pleasant memories of the holidays, raise her SAT score by at least two-hundred points (Kaplan guarantees it), and actually obtain the amount of sleep prescribed to our age group. After all, teenagers are second only to infants in the amount of sleep required to maintain health. My psychology review says so.