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The Mentor

The Mentor

The student news site of Manhattan High School

The Mentor

Technology allows digital era of standardized testing

Hunter Flagg

As the technological age continues to blossom, the very fabric of education is shifting. Whether it is digitized assignments, online textbooks or online testing, the impact of technology on education has been felt. In the realm of standardized testing, there has been much debate. 

Most recently, the SAT and PSAT went all-digital, completely changing their format to accommodate the shifts in test-taking style. In addition, the ACT has plans to pilot an online program over the next few years. The College Board’s Advanced Placement program is also hoping to implement online testing soon.  

The Mentor Editorial Board believes that these digital standardized exams should be optional and that students should have the right to take the exam on paper. Especially for the ACT and AP subject exams, which are info heavy, it can be hard for students to track problems, info and connections on an all-digital exam. Moreover, many students associate screens with leisure time or entertainment, leading to a lack of focus during the exam. 

At the same time, many enjoy the efficient and personalized experience of online testing. The bottom line is that students have preferences. However, these preferences are capable of impacting the score of a future-defining test. 

The various test-making organizations behind these digital exams should implement policies that allow students to make their own decisions regarding test format. If these organizations are truly aiming to give students opportunities to excel, they should do so in an all-inclusive manner. If anything, they should give schools the choice to administer both exams depending on student preference. 

A digital educational landscape is inevitable. However, educational institutions should do their part to level the playing field and accommodate students’ needs. The ACT and SAT exams have notoriously been a “pay to win” test. They still are in many respects. However, making this consideration as we shift to online testing and learning will set an important precedent, setting the foundation for improved educational equity in the future.

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About the Contributors
Advith Natarajan
Advith Natarajan, Managing Editor
Advith Natarajan is a junior at Manhattan High and the managing editor for The Mentor student newspaper.  He has been a contributing writer for The Mentor for two years and is excited to step into a leadership role this year.  Outside of MHS Natarajan has a passion for sports such as soccer, basketball and tennis, all of which he enjoys playing. He also plays guitar and piano.
Hunter Flagg
Hunter Flagg, Online EIC
Hunter Flagg is a freshman staff writer who joined journalism this year after moving from New York, not too far from the city. If Flagg can find the time outside of class, he likes to be with friends as he likes people in general.  “I like writing and videography and stuff like that,” Flagg said. “Haven’t been able to do that because of school.” Flagg joined journalism with hopes of creating entertaining articles and having fun.  “I like all aspects of journalism, mainly videography,” Flagg said. “It allows me to bask in a job well done.” Flagg also has hopes of changing the yearbook for the better. Flagg believes the yearbook can get a bit cringy at times and he wants to stop that from happening.  “I thought the yearbook sounded cool to me,” he said. Flagg wants to be a sports correspondent to write more entertaining life filled articles.  “No offense to people in politics, but I don’t feel like the students care about it that much,” Flagg said. “I want to write about sports, current events and things that have an impact on student’s lives.” After high school, Flagg wants to join the military with no interest in continuing Journalism. Flagg says to anyone wanting to join journalism to “do it.” By Thurston Rogers Staff Writer

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