PSSAs: PSS-Yays or PSS-Dismays?

Elizabeth Mooney, Writer

We all know that from third grade to eighth, there’s a test to take.  

But does it cause kids to jump for joy and say Yay, or does it make them moan in Dismay?

The PSSAs, or Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, began in 1992. Launched by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), they were made to see what students should know and be able to do at their grade level.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that students like these tests… 

I don’t look forward to them [PSSA’s] but I don’t really hate them either, it affects everyone in the grade/s that take them including the teachers so it’s not like I’m alone in having to sit and stare at a booklet for a few hours. If I could I’d change the rule about the teachers not being allowed to do anything — they just have to watch us go through our tests and pace around. I dislike having to sit silently and not being able to move for 3-4 periods,” stated Chloe Webber, eighth grader.  

“I look forward to the PSSA’s because then you get it over with. If I could I would make the reading passages less boring. I like that after we just get to relax and go outside, [but] I don’t like how long they take,” said Kendall Climo, sixth grader.   

“I like that it doesn’t take long to fill out. I look forward to them because it is the biggest grade of each year. They are pretty hard. I like the math PSSAs the most, and I dislike Science,” stated Amber Molter, fifth grader. 

“I don’t look forward to the PSSA’s because they are so much work. [If I could] I wish everything was just easier. I do not like how everything is so quiet.  [I like that] after you are done, it is a fun day,” says Nicholas Fessler, fifth grader.  

“I especially dislike the ELA ones because you have to read a lot and sitting there testing for a couple hours is not something I like to do. If I could, I’d change how long it takes to do them. What I like most is the rewards we get after we have finished testing,” states Julianne Hein, sixth grader. 

We took a poll for the students from fifth grade to eighth, and  32 students answered. Out of those students, 63% of kids liked math the most, and 56% disliked Reading/ELA.  65% of them were not nervous.