Are 8th Graders Really Ready for College Board’s RediStep Tests?

Are 8th graders ready to study like this for a College Board test?

I remember sitting in a huge high school auditorium, nervously watching my teacher pass out scantrons. Everyone had at least two #2 pencils and several layers of clothes to take on and off, depending on when the A/C kicked in. We weren’t allowed to leave the room for any reason because it might allow us to cheat. We were taking a test in high school that could possibly get us college credit hours. It was nerve wracking!

I took my first College Board AP test when I was in 10th grade. I was terrified! I couldn’t eat the day before and during the exam. I couldn’t sleep. I was trembling throughout the exam. It was bad.

Recently, College Board announced plans to extend this terror to 8th graders. The test would be called RediStep and allow these middle school students to earn college credit through a test. However, due to the economic condition of many schools across the nation, the plan was postponed until 2010. 

“With the unforeseen challenge of the current economic situation, many states, districts and schools simply don’t have the resources to spend on new programs and services,” College Board spokeswoman Sheila Jamison said in an e-mail Thursday.

Some might be upset about this postponement because they saw it as an opportunity to start earning college credit earlier, but I think it’s a salvation for middle school students. I could not handle the stress of an AP test when I was in 10th grade. I was slightly more prepared during 11th grade, but I was not fully comfortable with taking a test that told me whether my entire year of studying had been effective until my senior year.

How can we ask 8th graders to subject themselves to this type of pressure? Eighth grade is the last year before high school; you are supposed to be having as much childish fun as possible with your friends, not studying every night and stressing over a College Board Exam. I know this might sound terrible, but I kind of hope the economic challenges our nation is facing continue past 2010, just so 8th graders don’t have to face RediStep.

Via The LA Times

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