Grasping the CAASPP Tests

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Grasping the CAASPP Tests

CAASPP testing is important so students can find a place in general classes at college.

CAASPP testing is important so students can find a place in general classes at college.

Hana McNierney

CAASPP testing is important so students can find a place in general classes at college.

Hana McNierney

Hana McNierney

CAASPP testing is important so students can find a place in general classes at college.

Hana McNierney, WATW Editor

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As the end of the school year draws near, what are not in Wilcox students’ minds are fantasies about summer but rather the looming fate of tests. Such tests include the CAASPP. Many students may simply scoff and categorize these tests as simply something that hinders them from enjoying a late start to school. Yet these scores matter more than students may think, especially with new advances introduced this year.
First, a description of sorts. When hearing the term “CAASPP,” many Wilcox high schoolers may not be familiar with what they are really testing for, simply associating it with english, math, and science subjects that they take without studying. Technically speaking, this perception is not wrong. However, some students may want to begin taking the tests more seriously once they consider what it holds for their future. Now, to clear up a misunderstanding that some students may have: the CAASPP scores do not affect admission into college or enrollment into high school honors classes. But don’t slack off yet; they are not just a waste of time either. As Ms. Yee from the college and career center explained, the CAASPP test scores decide whether or not students entering college should be enrolled in general “English 1A” or “Math 1B” classes. Although other tests can also affect admission into classes, “the government decided they would use the state testing as a guideline because everyone has to take it. And then it would help eliminate students spending more time than they need to at one of the colleges and taking remedial classes,” Ms. Yee says. However, students with a score of 23 on the ACT and 1120 on the SAT will be able to enroll in college level classes regardless of their CAASPP scores. Remedial classes no longer exist, so if students do not achieve the scores required to enroll into general classes at colleges they have no other choice but to receive tutoring lessons and take extra classes and spend more money and time on textbooks to reach the level these colleges want them to be at. What has changed with the CAASPP testing this year is not the content or purpose, but now, the scores are more applicable for colleges to determine whether someone is fit to be in a class. To ensure that you can be enrolled into these general classes, Ms. Yee reminds, “Make sure you click the box that says ‘yes, I can release my scores.’”
Yet while Ms. Yee believes that the CAASPP tests will help students in the long run, some juniors have differing views. Junior Konner Nakashiki who has recently taken the tests comments, “Colleges already have placement exams to do that for the school. I believe it is unnecessary to have students participate in CAASPP testing if they are eventually going to be tested again for the same purpose: to see where they place academically.” Nakashiki also has a suggestion for the school as one who has already experienced the tests taking process for himself: “In all honesty, I think Wilcox and other schools need to change their curriculum in order to prepare for these tests and get the community more involved.” Nakashiki reassures future test takers that either way he found the tests fairly straightforward and simple with minimal preparing in advance.
Even though summer is just around the corner, don’t forget to keep your head in the game—or in your textbook. When asked about what she would recommend students to do to prepare for the tests, Ms. Yee warned: “Read the questions and take all the time they allot you. Take the tests seriously!”