The National test. A synonym for stress, anxiety and confusion. The worries of students are tangible in the school atmosphere during these hectic weeks. When we’re anxious for the tests and our minds are blurry due to all pressure and stress, a confirmation that everything is well organized is the least that we deserve to know about. Unfortunately, this was not the case during the Math exams on May 16th. And nor will it be on the upcoming exams on the 18th and 19th.
Tuesday May 16th, in a classroom on the 5th floor. The clock strikes 9:05, though the test was supposed to begin five minutes ago. The “substitute teacher” hands out the tests at a snail’s pace. The pulse goes up, everyone is breathing heavily. Finally, the test begins and it doesn’t take long until I realize that we’ve been given a replacement test. A math teacher sneaks into the classroom and whispers to the substitute, “the tests have been leaked”, and no swedish copies of the test will be available. Just as he is saying this, I notice how strangely translated most questions are.
So there I am, or there we are. Thirty-three students in a sultry classroom. We have no Swedish copy available to read from – of a national test that we barely understand. The substitute teacher doesn’t really seem to know English, and things start to get slightly out of hand. Lunch is spent running around looking for math teachers and board members of the school, but they are nowhere to be found. To clarify, having a Swedish copy available isn’t a tool of privilege, but in fact a fundamental need for all students in the international section, since we do have do have Swedish math books shaped after our course/s.
This is just a fraction of all the organizational issues that occur prior to, or even during national tests. A number of things need to change. We cannot have 20 year-olds guarding our course tests. We have to make sure that every class have access to the resources that they are entitled to. Tests have to be stored more safely. Leaked national tests seem to have become an annual tradition, with the last leak happening just about a year ago. Leaked tests don’t make it easier for anyone. They just result in more chaos and stress.
What some may think of as the solution to the problem, is in fact what makes it all worse. Test leaks will most likely continue to be a recurring problem in the future, therefore our teachers have to be prepared and they should be the ones supervising us instead of drowsy, sleepy students who can’t do their jobs properly and threaten our grades and performance.