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Regents and the Pressure

Last year, just before Regents week, my friend Frances called me. She asked what my plans were for the weekend and I told her I would be studying for my exams. I asked her how many exams she was taking and she said none and planned on reading Twilight over the weekend. Frances attends a private school. She does not have to take the Regents to get a diploma. Regents should be abolished for us, too, because students don’t get any educational value out of it and are put under a pressure to do well.

New York state requires that every high school student take social studies, science, math, English, and foreign language Regents, and pass with a 65 or higher. When students graduate from high school, how many Regents they take and pass is the way schools determined what diploma a student receives. A Regents Diploma requires a minimum of 65 on English, global and American history, one math and one science Regents. For an Advanced Regents Diploma, you must complete the same requirements as you do for a Regents Diploma, in addition to passing a math A, math B, foreign language and two science exit examinations.

Schools put plenty of pressure on their students. We are expected to go to school everyday, maintain good grades in all classes, pass midterm and final exams, and have high averages on our transcripts, do community service and service in school. States have long been pressuring students with exit examinations. Before Regents week, students are put under the pressure that they must do well so they don’t have to retake the exam and to obtain the Advanced Regents Diploma. Students prepare for the exams by spend money on review books, and every year the amount of money spent increases because of the increasing number of exams we need to take. Then students attend Regent’s review classes after school once or twice a week. Students cram every night trying to remember everything that they were taught throughout the whole year.
The states require that all public high school students in New York take Regents, but not private schools. My friend Frances attends Poly Prep, and she said the only exams they have are midterms, final exams and SATs. She said the reason why private schools don’t take Regents is because it is a New York state exam. Private schools are funded by the tuitions of the students and therefore don’t take exit examinations, but because public schools are funded by the state, they are required to administer the exams. Students in private schools seem to get a better education and have a superior learning environment because what they learn is long term, not test prep.
If the students do well in the class, why should they have to take an exam for it? During my sophomore year I took math A and every cycle I received E’s on my report card. I prepared myself for the exam and was confident that I would do well, and I did. I scored a ninety- five, but a year later, I had completely forgotten everything. This shows that students aren’t getting a true education out of exit examinations because the subject doesn’t stay in our heads after the exam.

It’s great that the state is trying to set higher standards for its students, by having Regents. But students don’t get much out of an education because throughout the whole year, they are taught to pass one exam after another and don’t really learn how to apply what they learned later on in society.

Regents add to a high school student’s pressure and stress and are not beneficial to their education. Preparation for Regents is one pressured step students are forced into, to do well on exams. Private schools don’t require their students to take Regents which gives them a better learning environment that is long term. Even if we show a good performance in our class grades and Regents exam, we will eventually forget all that was taught on that topic. Regent’s examinations should be abolished to put an end to our misery. Then we could start worrying about more important things like the SATs.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

AshCash said...
today at 9:32 am
I totally agree with you this is so true and i can relate to what you said. I am doing an essay on this topic and will be using this for some of my evidence thanks for this!
Mirette said...
Mar. 25, 2009 at 9:16 pm
I applaud you. You touch a global matter, and your chain thinking and convincing language on your side. Keep speaking up!
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