Juniors recover from ISTEP

Two days ago, juniors began the first day of ISTEP testing. Weeks prior, when the test dates were initially disclosed, both teachers and students were shocked, as most had been told that the tests were no longer in motion. 

Last spring, the Indiana Department of Education announced that the then-sophomores wouldn’t need to take ISTEP while schools were closed for in-person learning. However, the state decided that these students must test. 

“I was pretty upset,” Anna Babus, junior, said. “I w

Anna Evilsizor

as told by all my teachers last year that we wouldn’t have to finish the test and that it was being integrated out of the curriculum.”

Juniors were required to take this exam as a result of the cancellation last year, and it is required in order to graduate. Students took 10 tests with administrators monitoring the school over a two-day period. 

“I find it to be a hindrance,” Reese Wojkovich, junior, said. “These tests don’t truly reflect the student, but what [the state] wants to see.”

The class of 2022 has seen far too many alterations this year, and the sudden arrival of ISTEP only threw yet another wrench in the school year. In addition to preparing for AP exams, the ACT and the SAT—as well as managing classes—ISTEP testing only further added to the burden on students’ shoulders.

“Covid had already altered the curriculum,” Violet Luna, junior, said. “But now ISTEP will potentially cause an even larger set back among the class of 2022.”

Standardized testing itself is already considered a burden by many students—however, many students reported that their biggest concern wasn’t the impact it had on their school life. 

“I do some basic review over general formulas and concepts,” Emily Sun, junior, said. “Other than that, I don’t funnel any extra time into studying for the test.”

While this cannot be said for all students, the biggest concern regarding the ISTEP testing was how abrupt the announcement was. Students were informed about ISTEP testing barely a month prior, a stark contrast to what is typically expected. 

 “I am confused,” Alejandro Rodriguez, junior, said. “We are informed all of a sudden that we must now take the exam after being told before that it will not happen.”

Though it may not seem like it, some students expressed a few positives of the situation – and in fact, the actual testing may not be too bad. 

“Initially I was kind of glad that we were going to retake ISTEP,” Mikyla Farnell, junior, said. “Last year, so many things went wrong with the technology and I felt like it didn’t truly represent my abilities. Of course, it would have been nicer if we got exempt from ISTEP, but that’s not happening now. But I’m definitely not looking forward to completing the rest of my standardized testing for junior year such as the SAT and ACT.”