Weeks of studying lead up to annual test, expand knowledge of nation
As the first semester concludes, eighth grade students traditionally take the Constitution test. Although the test primarily assesses understanding of the Constitution, it ensures knowledge of general early American history.
After over a month of studying for arguably the the most anticipated and feared test at FC, the eighth grade class took the 23rd annual Constitution test, Dec. 9. The students cover material not only on the Constitution, but also on governmental procedures, which is taught by eighth grade U.S. History teacher Hallie Rojeski.
In order to prepare the students for the exam, which is worth double the points of a regular exam, Rojeski quizzes the students nearly every day. Due to the large amounts of information, students are required to have a binder dedicated to this exam in order to keep everything organized.
"I do it every year and everyone is required to study the Constitution," Rojeski said. "I make five and a half weeks because I think that students need time, most of them will never actually read the whole thing and understand it, even at the junior high level. This is something they need to know and understand what is in it."
As a standard, students are required to dress up for the test in order to capture a senatorial feel. Overall, eighth grade student Sierra Duffy felt that dressing up for the exam allowed her to be less nervous and encourages the upcoming class to study.
"I think dressing up made me not as nervous because I got to look forward to the test," Duffy said. "If I were to give advice for next year, I'd say don't wait until the last minute to study because even though we go over it a lot it helps to get it stuck in your head."
After the five weeks of preparation, Duffy feels confident about her grade.
"I prepared all five weeks of the unit, and three hours the night before," Duffy said. "I think I got an 'A' because we've gone over the material a lot and once you've encountered it enough it gets stuck in your head."
"I love seeing their attitudes when they see how well they do, because that's always exciting. It teaches them that if they work on something every day it will stick with them for a long time." --Hallie Rojeski, Eighth grade history teacher
Although some students initially my have been nervous to take the exam, Zoe House was excited to be done with the test, she says.
"I was excited to get it over with, but nervous at the same time," House said. "I wasn't really worried about it because I studied so much. I thought it was enjoyable because it was fun to learn about the Constitution, learning about the senators; it was not boring."
Though students may enter the exam feeling stressed, they often leave with confidence, according to Rojeski.
After weeks of preparation, and once they take the test, eighth grade students celebrate the completion of the Constitution test with a special lunch.
"They come in nervous and leave with confidence," Rojeski said. "I love seeing their attitudes when they see how well they do, because that's always exciting. It teaches them that if they work on something every day it will stick with them for a long time."
The test requires a wide and thorough knowledge of the document, aslo requiring many hours each night in anticipation. Dalton Cowin spent many hours reviewing with his parents.
"I thought it was really annoying and time consuming," Cowin said. "I had to study a couple hours straight; my parents are very strict on studying and they quizzed me all day everyday. It took up a lot of time and I didn't get to do anything fun."
Some students consider this unit as simply a test, but Rojeski sees that it teaches much more than facts and information.
"They learn to gain an appreciation of a very important document in the founding of our country," Rojeski said. "They understand what our founding fathers intended, so in today's climate they know where they think our world should go because they have a solid foundation of where it started."
For more news, read the Dec. 8 article, Occupy protest stretches to Fresno.
Danielle St. Marie and Emily Shakeshaft also contributed to this article.