COVID-19 Further Complicates End of Quarter Exams


Maroon Staff

As testing week approaches, students must deal with stress and new problems from the pandemic.

Harrison Lambert

As Scarsdale High School approaches the end of the first quarter, many students have begun worrying about assessments, projects, and grades. The quarter will come to a close on Tuesday, November 17th with testing days starting on November 5th. Students are skeptical about how testing will pan out in the final two weeks because of the modified schedule and hybrid learning model. 

Students not only feel that testing days fail to stop test anxiety but also that the hybrid learning model and COVID-19 has left students unprepared for the end of the quarter. Teachers have attempted to accommodate for the new normal, but some students still feel that more changes need to be made. “My teachers are doing the best that they can. It’s on the administration to make new policies or change current ones in order to reduce stress,”  said Matthew Barotz ’23. 

Testing has become a major issue amidst the pandemic, but many problems from previous years also persist. “[Testing days ensure] that I won’t have too many tests during the last two weeks of the quarter, but teachers feel compelled to stuff their tests the week before testing days start,” said David Zoota ’22. Teachers assign many assignments and exams to fit in more grades before the end of the quarter, which can defeat the purpose of testing days. While some students still believe that testing days are ineffective at decreasing stress, most students are learning to settle into the current testing model and accept the difficulties that come with it. 

Students believe that added difficulties around at home testing during the pandemic originate from cheating. “Teachers can’t do much since it’s over zoom, so a majority of my teachers have been relying on the honor code to prevent cheating,” said Karina Cheng ’23. While some teachers rely on the concept of academic integrity to ensure their students cannot cheat, others have resorted to open note quizzes. Academic pressure in Scarsdale only makes it more difficult to prevent cheating. The pressure that a Scarsdale student has to do well on every test may tempt them to look up answers on their computer, as they are right in front of them.

SHS will have to wait and see if testing days will work amidst the pandemic. “[Testing days are] dependent on how students give feedback to our teachers,” concluded Zoota.