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After years of mentally preparing myself to endure the most mentally draining four-hours of my high school career, I have just completed taking a second SAT test.

I have so many thoughts about this tedious task that every high school student in the United States is required to do.

I think it is ridiculous that a standardized test score can determine a student’s future. A good student with a high GPA and a lot of extra curricular activities can get an average score solely because they might not be the best test taker, but that one test score has a large weight on which colleges accept them.

I do not fully understand why standardized tests have become a way of determining students academic careers for such a long time, or why they have become of such a high priority. Although most colleges look at students holistically, California State schools consider students purely on GPA and standardized test scores.

However, I understand the reasoning behind standardized testing; giving students a chance to show the general academic knowledge they have accumulated in high school.

But why does a test have to be the only thing that proves a student has gained knowledge? Why is it that the pressure to get a high-test score can consume a student’s conscience for months so that they focus all of their time studying for one generalized, tricky test?

I know, because it consumed me.