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Rock Street, San Francisco

For most people English might not be there first language but since English is a universal language it’s a necessitate. I grew up learning Spanish before English, reading and hearing Spanish being spoken in my household.  Once I started elementary school is when I started learning English but still speaking fluently in Spanish at home.  Throughout elementary and beginning of junior high I moved schools often throughout the years which didn’t help me with my learning. The schools I moved to were all in the same district and so standardized testing was used to see what students learned and the level they were in. If students were not in the average scoring, they would then need to take a class that would help them get to that level for the next time the district would be having the standardized tests.  One of the standardized tests was on the subject English, which was on mostly reading short passages and answering questions to show students comprehension of what they had just read. Another part to the test was writing essays on prompts given with a countdown on how long students had to write those essays. Teachers had prepared us for what they thought was on these tests weeks before. The problem with that is that students can memorize shortcuts to answering questions so that they can score high. Then they end up scoring average or above making them seem like they know the subject and how to answer those type of questions when they in reality actually don’t.  Another standardized test they do during the school years is on the subject math. Math teachers would also prepare students by doing examples of what could show up on those tests.  When we would practice for the test we would learn how to do the problems with and without a scientific or graphing calculator. Once it came time to take the test however you were expected to do all the problems without a calculator. If you were allowed to use a calculator the calculator had to be a very simple one so that students would not cheat. These tests put an enormous amount of pressure on not only students but also the professors and schools/districts. If students don’t do well on these tests the teachers and school can look bad as it would seem like they are not teaching the subject well enough for the students to comprehend the subject. Students feel the pressure because they know the score they get on the tests will define their futures and next years classes. There are students however that when they take the first standardized test in high school they may not be at that level yet and once they take it they will not score average. 

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