PACER Test Revs Up Students’ Stress in the Name of Fitness


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The PACER test causes stress among students, even though it’s given in the name of physical fitness.

Izzy Rivera, Reporter

WOODBURY — Everyone at Nonnewaug has mentioned the PACER test. Whether they hate it or don’t mind it, it’s been here since elementary school, and it won’t be changing anytime soon. It’s a mandatory state test that happens once every year during wellness class. 

Students are tested on running back and forth across 20-meter distances. Every year students have to do the PACER, and students complain out of annoyance. It counts as a mandatory part of the gym unit for everyone.

“I hate the PACER because it stresses me out,” Nonnewaug sophomore Sophia Betkoski said.

“I hate doing the PACER,” Kaylin Stafferi said. “It doesn’t stress me out but it’s more I don’t want to do it because I don’t see the point.” 

Most Nonnewaug students have negative thoughts about the PACER. Sophomore Maggie Keane said she “hates the PACER.” 

“It’s not stressful; it just sucks,” Claire Suttles said. “It hurts, and makes me a little self-conscious.”

Students want to know why they have to take it. Why is it necessary to give students the extra stress of the PACER? Is there any good that comes from it? 

Nonnewaug wellness teacher Ryan Campanario explained why the PACER is a requirement.

“It is one of two tests that can be given as part of the CT Physical Fitness Testing,” Campanario said. “The information gathered is sent to the State Department of Education and is then compiled with all the other schools in the state and reports are generated and put out to the public.” 

Campanario thinks the PACER could be good for students.

“I believe it is a great way to test students’ cardiovascular endurance,” Campanario said. “The test progressively gets more difficult, so being able to pace yourself properly can have a huge advantage in terms of success.”

No matter the opinions on the PACER, it won’t be leaving. It’s a stressful part of most school years, but once it’s over, it’s done — until next year.