A Weary Week for the Juniors


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Stressed college student for exam in classroom.

Brooke Phillips, Writer

Standardized testing, college visits, volunteering, and advanced placement classes are all experiences that make the junior year the most rigorous year of high school. During the week of April 11th, the Adams High School juniors faced one of the most hectic weeks of their high school career. The graduating class of 2023 was required to take The Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress on Monday and Tuesday, the SAT on Wednesday, and WorkKeys on Thursday. So, it is without surprise that many of the juniors are feeling exhausted.

“I thought last week with all of the testing was rough and tiring, especially with other after-school activities like lacrosse. Being honest, it really drained me, and I was exhausted by Thursday. I tried not to stress too much,” said junior and varsity lacrosse player, Sophia Gale.

When taking such an overwhelming amount of tests, it becomes difficult for students to find motivation for that testing. Therefore, students focus their attention and effort on the SAT and put minimal effort on the M-STEP and WorkKeys assessments because they do not affect college admissions.

M-STEP is a digital assessment designed to ensure that students reach the state standards. The questions predominantly test problem-solving and critical thinking skills. On Monday and Tuesday of the hectic week, the 11th-grade students completed the science and social studies assessments. The WorkKeys assessment, which was given on Thursday and facilitated by ACT, measures the ability of students’ workplace skills. 

Screenshot of SAT registration screen on College Board. Photo Credit: Brooke Philips

Adding to the frustration, many students found that the M-STEP didn’t allow students enough time to finish during the given time slots, whereas the WorkKeys allowed too much time for the students to complete it. 

“We started off in a sprint trying to finish M-STEP in such a limited time then spent an eternity on a few simple problems for the WorkKeys,” said junior Annie Peters.

In addition to the struggles of test-taking, students also found an inability to complete other assigned school work.

“I felt like there was so much build-up to the week and pressure put on it that I wasn’t able to focus on my other schoolwork,” said junior Annabelle Hester.

Ultimately, what we should conclude from the over-scheduled week is the facilitators of the tests, the College Board and ACT organizations, should consult with each other to space out their assessments. In addition, it may be wise for the Rochester Community Schools District to consider offering more support to students during tiresome weeks by potentially assigning less homework and ensuring that students get the help they need to succeed.