A new testing room was created in D-24 for students with accommodations.
Previously, students with accommodations for a small test setting or extended time took tests in the Zen Den. “The space was a bit cramped, especially because the testing took place in a small area,” said Nicole Ho, M-A’s small setting test coordinator. “It was a mixture of students who were in need of a relaxing place, but also for those who needed to focus on their exams.”
Since the Zen Den stretched across three different rooms, Ho found it difficult to keep track of students and their needs while also making sure academic integrity was not being violated.
At the beginning of this year, Ho decided to make a change. She created a new testing room in D-24 for students to just take tests. To make the room more inviting, she decorated it to her liking. She said, “I added greenery and scented candles that help reduce stress so students don’t feel as nervous when they step into the Testing Center.”
She also likes to play “final exam studying music,” which blocks out the noise of the ceramics room next door. Ho also bought sensory strips, which are strips with different patterns that help students reduce anxiety. “I’ve seen multiple students use them during tests and ended up sticking them on the back of their phones and water bottles. It’s nice to see that little things can help students so much.”
The new testing room has brought many students relief from test anxiety. Sophomore Mae Kunihiro said that she loves the new room. “Ms. Ho designed it very well to make students feel comfortable while taking tests. I also really like the candles she has in there, and the big plants that make me feel like I’m in the jungle rather than at school. I really feel more focused than I was before in the old testing room.” she added, “I definitely prefer this room rather than taking tests in the Zen Den. It’s so much better.”