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Reconsidering fitness testing

by BETHANY LU Staff Writer

Nothing is worse than looking down at your report card and realizing that you have that one annoying B. You tried so hard in geometry and stayed for extra help three times a week for physics. Receiving a B would be acceptable in those situations, but definitely not in gym.

Since middle school, students have been graded on how long they take to run the mile or the number of push-ups they can complete in a minute. We simply know this as fitness testing, an evaluation consisting of multiple exercises including the mile run, sit and reach, sit ups, and push-ups.

This test is a smart way to calculate where a student stands health-wise, but it is not acceptable to assess how his body works and grade him on physical abilities.

Many students have an advantage over others. Some people might be naturally athletic, and some might not; some might be on the track team, and some might not get the chance to be active. People’s fitness levels vary, thus making the fitness tests’ scores uneven and inaccurate.

“Because everyone is varied in terms of physical strength, it would be unfair to consider fitness testing as part of our grade. It should simply be a way to analyze how athletic the students are and prepare gym workouts from such analyses,” says freshman Anurva Saste.

Even if a person who is not physically fit completes these tests to his highest ability, the teachers will not recognize his hard work. The only reflections of his success are determined by letter grades instead of his efforts.

On the other hand, certain students who are fortunate enough to have a naturally strong body do not give their best efforts. However, they still manage to receive an A plus on their report card due to natural athletic ability. This issue is clearly unfair, and portrays some kind of division in gym class.

“I felt that [my teacher] graded us too much on how many we can do rather than our participation and effort. I felt it was sort of unfair and he graded us too harshly,” says freshman Rachel Fernandez.

Furthermore, many students’ averages in gym class are declining due to these fitness tests.

Gym is simply a course students take to boost their health and learn different exercises, sports and activities. It allows them to give their minds a break from school work. Still, students need to do well in school and work hard to receive desired grades.

Many students are dedicated to their studies and spend hours trying to achieve high GPAs for their future. However, if the only cause of them not receiving a 3.8 GPA or making Principal’s List is because of their grades in gym, then this test should definitely be reconsidered.

Though fitness testing may be troublesome, it is a good way to test a student’s skill and allows him to work on weak points. However, it should not be taken as a grade because of body differences.

Gym is not a competition to see who is at the top of the class, but a chance for students to slowly improve and put their best efforts in.

If you had a choice, would you support fitness testing as part of our gym curriculum, or take a stance against it?

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