Sophomores Tackle the California High School Exit Exam

Grant Torre, Staff Writer

   On Tuesday, February 1st and Wednesday, February 2nd all Sophomores took part in the mandatory California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). This test is used throughout public schools in California and students must pass the exam in order to get their high school diploma.    

   When students arrived to school on Tuesday, they found a list informing where each person should go. Testing locations included classrooms, the library, and Cafeteria’s 4 and 5. As students filed into their assigned locations, they received tests and answer documents and started on the English portion of the CAHSEE which included two sections that usually last about two hours each. Alex Wolfson (10) commented, “The test’s English section was easier than I thought it would be and the short stories made me laugh.” The English portion consisted of reading comprehension, sentence structure and grammar. Throughout the test, students read poems, dramas, job postings and essays and answered questions about them.

   In addition to multiple choice questions, students were required to write an essay about someone who has helped the community. Alex Valladares (10) expressed, “The essay was the toughest part of the test for me because it was hard to narrow down such a broad prompt in a timed manner.”

   On Wednesday, all sophomores spent three hours taking the exam’s two math sections. Problems were all multiple choice and included solving equations, analyzing word problems and graphing equations. Last year, over 90% of the students taking the CAHSEE at West High passed the exam. All the sophomores this year hope to succeed on the test so they will not have to take it again in 2012. Britanny Johnson (12) reminisced, “I wasn’t worried about the test too much because it was not difficult. Even if you don’t pass you still have two years to take it!”