“That test destroyed me” and “That test was a killer” are phrases heard following a test, particularly when the test taker knows that he or she did not do well.

We all know we have to take a test to be even considered for college. The college will then help us get on the best career path. Why should the next 40 to 60 years of my life, career and happiness or proof of my scholarly potential depend primarily on that one test?

The flaws of tests and exams being critical in academic learning evaluations are endless. Without an SAT or ACT, most universities will not even consider an application.

Consider the scenarios that could negatively affect a student’s performance on a test: an emergency in the family; a dreadful day; or anxiety. This is not to mention the time limit breathing down the test takers’ neck — knowing that one wrong answer could bring them to their demise.

The problem isn’t just in national, state and local criterion exams, tests are problems in traditional school classrooms. In a traditional classroom setting, students are trained to prepare for a test, not to actually master the subject.

Aside from increasing a student’s stress level at a young age, which is psychologically unhealthy, tests are losing their value because students are finding sly ways to improve their performance other than studying or reviewing — by cheating.

In the end, a test, which has room for countless imperfections, plays too big of a role in whether a college will accept me. The simplistic way to view the worst-case scenario is a poor score on a standardized college admission exam means no college. No college means no career. No career means no money. No money equals no life.

Now, ponder the logic of an exam with several faults determining a person’s future. A single test outcome may be the start of a bright future or an event that could potentially ruin a life – all because it destroyed me with its many “problems.”

— Zayne Akrofi, junior at

Alpharetta High School

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