Eunice Kim, staff writer
As finals approach, teachers begin to give more tests and quizzes to students on daily basis. As more pressure is added onto students, more upperclassmen than underclassmen miss school due to test pressure.
According to the student survey conducted by Highlights, 56 students out of a total 257 students surveyed said that they missed school on purpose. Out of those 56 students, 42 students were upperclassman.
“Of course I [spotted people missing school purposely]. There are always people who try to skip class when they have test on a subject they are not comfortable on,” senior Tristan Lucas said.
Although the school has strict policies about absences, it is hard to identify whether or not absences are due to “excusable” reasons or because students have a test. Teachers and staff can’t determine if the reason for student absences are genuine or fake just by looking at student’s excuse notes.
This method of avoiding test taking has tempted many students to miss school because they feel discouraged about the exams they are going to take. However, students stated that they don’t abuse this method to earn better grades.
“I have felt like I want to miss school because Iwasn’t prepared for the test. However, I never tried this method before,” a student who wished to remain anonymous said.
While students don’t regard this trend as “cheating,” they’ve shown clear distinction between excusable and inexcusable absences.
“In my opinion, if students are absent on purpose in order to study for test they are going to take, they deserve the score they get [when they return]. However, if students start asking answers from others who took the test it should be considered as cheating,” sophomore Jane Hwang said.
Although this method of extra study time might sound tempting, many students showed disapprovement of this trend.
“Students shouldn’t feel like they should miss school because of a test or quiz, because you are missing out on your class education,” a student who wished to remain anonymous said. “It ends up being worse in the end when you miss lessons rather than getting a bad grade on a test or quiz.”
Teachers encourage their students to show up on the test days instead of faking illness.
“I cannot prevent absences,” chemistry teacher Christopher Bushee said. “However, I often find that students perform worse on makeup tests. I think it’s because their minds start to drift out of the flow of the material and I also think it’s hard to take tests in an alternate setting. The student loses the flow of the rest of the class and it’s hard to perform at the same level.”
The consequences for missing school on test days depend on the official reason for the absence. The attendance office will receive a reason for the absence and then determine whether the absence is excused or unexcused. If the reason for the absence is inexcusable, then the absence will be determined as unexcused. This will drop the grade of the student by three percent. Thus, teachers recommend students keep good attendance.