• Amanda Jaffe

I Failed the Gym Test

It is 4:45 in the morning, my alarm just went off, time for morning crew practice. The loud noise gives me a headache. I do the math in my head, I got a good 4 hours of sleep, probably less. I mean I am a senior with no free periods and an endless amount of work and college applications. I have morning practice twice a week and afternoon practice three times a week, and I can’t forget the two at home workouts I have to do. You do the math—that is a lot of exercise.


After morning practice, where the high temperature is 32 and the sun doesn’t rise until we get off the water, I head to a full day of school. I get to attend gym class and play badminton on days 1, 3, and 5. How did I end up in this situation you may ask? I have more hours of practice than most Edgemont athletes, yet I still have to go to gym.


Well, I failed the test required for students who participate in out-of-school sports and want to sign out of gym. In my 13 years of Edgemont this is the first time I have failed a test. I might even argue this is one of the most important tests I have ever taken. You might be reading this article and wondering to yourself “How on earth (you might use alternative expression) did she fail her gym test? That is probably the easiest test ever.” Let me tell you right here and now it is quite hard, and numerous people have failed this test.


Seems like a flawed system, right? I even asked what I should study and received the less than satisfying answer of “all gym units.” I mean how do I study all the gym units ever? What does that even mean? How does one even answer a question about speedball, a game that doesn’t exist outside the walls of Edgemont? I played speedball fall of my freshman year; it has been four years since then.


What’s more, I have only been enrolled in two units of gym. My sophomore year I signed out of gym for all four quarters, as I was a three season athlete within Edgemont sports. My junior year I was enrolled in gym, but instead of actual gym class, we walked around the track, every single class.


The night before my test, nervous thoughts swirled through my head. I was more nervous the day before the gym test than I was for the SAT. If I didn’t pass I would have no free periods, no time to catch up on my work.


I failed pretty miserably. I took my test during my lunch period because again I have NO free periods. So not only did I fail a test that day, I didn’t get to eat my lunch, which happens pretty often because more often than not I need to finish taking tests due to taking my allotted extra time.


I walked into the testing room, laptop in hand, ready for whatever random questions the athletic department deemed necessary for me to sign out of gym. I open the test and the first part asks me about fitness components and stretching. Why would I know the worst type of stretching for your body? I have never been taught this, nor am I a gym teacher. I guarantee at least 99% of Edgemont students have no idea what the worst type of stretching for your body is. After an absolutely horrible first section I move to the second section. I didn’t think this test could get much worse, but it did. I was asked the rules of speedball. I had to pick 5 units of gym from 16 gym units and answer questions from those 5 units. Again I have only ever been enrolled in 2 units of gym.


A couple days later I received the upsetting, but not surprising results. I asked to retake the test, and was denied. I went to Guidance, which got me nowhere. Since then I have attended gym class whenever I have it. As a result I have had an extremely stressful fall with limited sleep, due to so much work.


I humbly submit that the Athletic Department should consider constructing a more passage exam. I am not planning on playing professional badminton, but I am planning on going to college. Some extra time to complete college applications, just seems a bit more useful.