HSPE testing begins this week

By Erick Yanzon

HSPE stands for High School Proficiency Exam. Each spring, tenth graders in Washington state take this test to make sure their learning is on track. It ensures that they are proficient in math, reading and writing, and have the basic skills necessary to move on to the next step in their lives.

English teacher Peter White said that the purpose of the HSPE is “to demonstrate that students are up to nationally recognized standards in the subject they’re tested in.”

Each graduating class has its own graduation requirements. The class of 2012 must pass the reading and writing state exams, and the math exam or earn two math credits after sophomore year. Meanwhile, the class of 2013 and 2014 must pass reading, writing, and the algebra or geometry end-of-course math exam. The class of 2015 will have to pass reading, writing, both the algebra and geometry end, and a biology end-of-course exam.

The HSPE writing will be held on March 13 and 14, while the reading is on March 15. Testers are expected to be in their seat and ready to begin at 7:30 a.m. Each student will be assigned a room on the day of the testing. Students cannot leave the classroom until 9:45 a.m. Those who need more time to work on their test will be in the theater and will be excused from class until the test is finished.

For students not taking the HSPE, classes are not going to start until 10:05 a.m. each day. On Tuesday, periods 1, 3 and 5 will take place, while periods 2, 4, and 6 will be on Wednesday for 55 minutes each class period. On Thursday, all classes will be 25 minutes long. The algebra, geometry and biology end-of-course exams will be held on June 5, 6 and 7, respectively.

Sophomore Angela Woodbrook said, “I don’t think it’s going to be that hard because the English MSP wasn’t difficult for me. We are also preparing for it in our English class.”

The types of question that appear on state tests are mostly multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Four-point essay questions have been eliminated for reading, math and science tests. This change allows students to show they are able to solve the problems, while not being scored on their writing ability on the math, reading and science tests.

Students will receive their scores in June 2012 for the HSPE and in August 2012 for the end-of-course exams. The registration for the summer HSPE in August will begin around June 1. Retakes for EOC exams will take place in early 2013.