Reforming The Standardized Education System To Reduce Stress - De Anza EWRT 1A - Essay

2542 words - 11 pages

Reforming the Standardized Education System to Reduce Stress
Junior year, known as the most important year in your high school career. SAT, ACT,
and the multitude of AP classes loaded onto your schedule. There is no room for failure as
anything less than an A simply is not good enough--not good enough to stand out in the pool of
applicants who are all simply represented by set of numbers in the application process. Now onto
senior year, perhaps the most fun and exciting year of many students high school career as it
marks the beginning of adulthood. But first, an obstacle--college applications. Student’s must hit
the three targets--GPA, SAT, and extracurriculars which do not start senior year, rather the
preparation for the most important application in their lives starts from grade school--yes even
before high school. Many students now believe that “​they need to get fantastic grades, ace their
standardized tests, participate in plenty of extracurricular activities and sports, and then go on to
elite, big-name universities” (Cullotta). This vicious cycle has its consequences on its students as
the stress it creates, takes an extreme toll on mental and physical health--certainly not something
a growing teenager should be going through. Undeniably, students stress levels are now reported
to “exceed those of adults” (Lee). ​The rising standards in school due to standardization,
specifically high school--is causing levels of high stress and lack of sleep as well as creates an
extremely competitive environment in school where many feel not only insecure in their
achievements but overall unhappiness in their lives.
One of the main causes of the ​high stress levels can be linked to the idea that in order to
be successful in life, one has to go to a four year university straight out of high school, the
milestone that everyone looks forward to in their educational career. The pressure of going to
college is what drives students to go above and beyond in not only their academics but in their
lives outside of school. Standardized tests like ACT, SAT, and AP are some of the big indicators
of whether a student should be accepted into college or not. Tests that not every student are able
to ace no matter how much studying is done also meaning it is harder for students to stand out,
pressuring them to overload in other academic aspects in their efforts to shine. These tests are all
now taken more seriously than ever as “getting into college seems harder than ever before, with
the odds unlikely to improve anytime soon” (Urist). The combination of these factors show that
not only do colleges now want a academically smart student through things like SAT scores but
want “​students who have gained some depth of experience in activities that genuinely reflect
their abilities and interests...they are looking for commitment and quality, not quantity” which
can only be achieved through things like extracurriculars activities. Which most of the time are
only done...

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