Know Which Tests You Need to Pass to Graduate

Know Which Tests You Need to Pass to Graduate

Samantha Crowson, Reporter

There’s always that morning each year we are in school, when we wake up and remember…it’s the day of the long-dreaded Standardized Testing! Usually there’s only like one or two but this year it’s way more. Not only do we have the AZ Merit (the new state standardized test that is replacing AIMS) but we also have the benchmarks,  PSAT and the ACT test, plus the Civics test for seniors. Where does the madness end!

Though I could rant for hours about the amount of tests we take, students may have some questions about these tests as well.

The AZ Merit, though I may have already explained is the new  state standardized test, mostly focuses on the new curriculum; the AZ Merit replaced the long used AIMS test  but was ruled out by an anonymous vote in late 2014. For more info about the AZ Merit go to  .

The Benchmarks are a state test taken at the end of every Quarter to see what growth has been made and to see what may need to be retaught. The two types of Benchmarks are ELA ( English/Language arts) and math.

The PSAT is  a college-readiness test this year taken by freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. The test informs (whoever reads the results) about AP potential and strong areas. That test is one of the most important ones this year because it offers scholarships like the National Merit Scholarship. The ACT test much like the PSAT, is only taken by juniors and has large scholarship opportunities as well. Plus, the last of the AIMS that’s left – the AIMS science test for Biology classes, for freshman and sophomores.

The Civics test is a very, very, very important test that all seniors will have to; in order to graduate, you must receive a 60 or higher out of 100. The civics test is the same test that immigrants have to take in order to become a U.S. citizen. And finally, the teacher evaluations; they are not tests, but they are very important to each teacher, giving the district proper information about every teacher.

Now we all think the tests are horrible things that are meant to ruin us, but what does administration think? Mr. Estrella (the principal in case you didn’t know) says, “The tests are important but don’t give us the whole picture.” By that he means that although the tests tell us how we are doing education-wise, it doesn’t show our level of concentration or social skills, or all things that are important to having a great school or building a great school.