Column: Regents Exams Are Not Helpful

The Regents Exams are a set of mandatory tests that high school students in New York State are required to take in order to graduate. Teachers must plan their coursework according to these exams since being prepared for the tests determines their ability to graduate.

This need to cram subject matters into such a relatively short amount of time takes away from the overall education of the subject that could be given with a more narrow focus.

“Aiming for the test isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I don’t think it’s the be-all end-all of what the class should mean,” stated tenth grade Geometry teacher Mr. Clock.

The idea that one singular test can sum up an individual’s entire knowledge of a concept is deceiving. It is very unlikely that a timed set of questions would really represent what someone knows. Common Core insists on including every bit of information they possibly fit into their math courses.

Mr. Clock also suggests the idea that if he could narrow the focus of the curriculum, he would, and would use this opportunity to go deeper into topics.

The Regents Exams, although mandatory and important, are part of the reason some students don’t actually have a thorough understanding of math. This has potential to cause problems down the road. Students are becoming jacks of all trades, and masters of none.

When students are caught up in state tests, and teachers are forced to follow a state test curriculum, they aren’t able to go at their own pace and really absorb the needed information in depth. Instead of school being about learning, it becomes all about one exam.

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