This I Believe

Heather - Leesburg, Virginia
Entered on February 23, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Did you ever feel pressure to do well in high school, either on the SAT, standardized tests or in your AP classes? I bet you have. That’s why I believe schools today put too much pressure on their students. We’ve all been there. Ever since we were kids, we went to school because it was what we had to do if we wanted to succeed in life. But the standards have changed drastically from what they used to be.

In high schools, not only throughout the state, but also throughout the country, standards have risen. Students are taking far more AP classes during their 4 years of high school then ever before. They feel that if they don’t challenge themselves with as m any AP’s as possible, then they don’t stand a chance of being accepted into their dream schools. The thing is, unless you get a score of 4 or a 5 on your AP exam, colleges don’t usually accept credit for the course. So there you are doing insane amounts of work, to receive a B or a C in a challenging course to only have to repeat the same course, somewhere down the road in your college career. With previous generations, getting into school didn’t take nearly as much effort, as that of today’s generation. Lets face it AP classes didn’t even exist when our parents were in high school and they got into college and are doing just fine in the career world.

As well as AP classes, standardized tests also place pressure on students, whether it be passing a certain amount to graduate from high school or to do well on the major standardized test, the SAT. The SAT is the test that can ultimately determine your fate during the admissions process. Because if you have the grades, and the endless list of activities, but you don’t have a high SAT score that could ruin your chances; The pressure to do well on your SAT’s starts for most during their freshmen year of high school. I remember during my junior year, watching my friends, sit around practicing for the SAT’s. They would work in workbooks and even quiz each other on the meanings of some of the vocabulary in the SAT’s. I remember observing and thinking how insane it was that, the basis of your acceptance into school was based off a test that you take one Saturday morning. Some students will take the test over and over in order to better their score or chances for college.

In conclusion, I believe that there is more pressure then ever on the students of this country. Between participating in many activities and taking between 3 and 5 AP classes, students are bearing stress at younger ages. With the pressure to go to college always lingering in the back of their minds, the pressure is on to perform to standards that are somewhat out of reach. It is no longer good enough to be an average student.