Testing Technology: The Onset of Virtual Exams


Dennis Racket

Testing Bubble: Junior Grecia Pino appreciates the quiet and calm while she takes a test virtually.

Students worldwide associate the word ‘test’ with dread and stress. North Atlanta High School students are no different. But as a result of the current pandemic, the testing environment and situation has changed drastically.

Some look favorably upon testing during the pandemic. According to North Atlanta students, online school provides a much less stressful testing environment. Without the hectic surroundings of in-person school, taking tests has become increasingly more relaxing. “The tests are pretty easy for me,” said junior Grecia Pino. “We have more peace and calm to study and to take our tests.”

A number of other students concur with Pino’s opinion that online testing is better, but for a different reason entirely. Cheating is now easier than ever before, what with students’ increased access to the Internet without teacher supervision. In hopes of curbing this influx of academic dishonesty, teachers have begun to turn to sites and forums that prevent students from opening new tabs on their computers. However, even these tactics are not completely successful as students can still use their phones and notes without having to use their computers to cheat. “Every test is basically open book,” said an anonymous sophomore. 

However, some people feel that online testing is not conducive to learning and gaining knowledge. This is because the temptation to cheat has become difficult to ignore for many students, even those who consider themselves relatively honorable. This temptation has resulted in a lack of motivation in regards to studying and class participation. According to several North Atlanta students, it’s much easier to justify not studying or paying attention in class when they know that they can always just look up the answers on their phones during the test. “I haven’t paid attention in my classes all year,” said another anonymous sophomore. “But I’m still passing all of them because I can just look up the answers to the homework and the tests.”

Some disagree with Pino’s view of online testing as more calm and peaceful. On the contrary, they claim that taking tests at home is much more stress-inducing. Distractions caused by family members, pets, neighbors, and constructions all contribute to a lack of peace and quiet while testing. “Back when we had school in person, everyone had to be quiet during the tests,” said sophomore Lena Hoover. “But now, I always get distracted by my family members or my dog barking during tests.”

It’s evident that different people have extremely different opinions on testing during quarantine. Either way, the majority of North Atlanta students can agree that this testing environment is out of the ordinary for everyone.