AAPPL testing should not be mandated


This year, all language courses were required to give students the Assessment of Performance Towards Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL), which evaluates understanding of languages based upon listening, speaking, reading and writing. The culmination of the test results in a seal of biliteracy should a student be deemed adept at the language.

However, I do not feel that the AAPPL was a test worth taking. Taking the AAPPL was a long and arduous process that was ultimately a misuse of valuable class time in language classes.

The entire process lasted a month. Between taking practice tests, reviewing previous work and taking the test, a lot of otherwise important class time was wasted. Taking time off the school year to focus on something that won’t be useful to my learning after the test is complete doesn’t seem like the best use of time.

When so much time and effort is designated towards a test of little consequence, it is difficult for students to feel motivated to practice for it. There are no repercussions for alloting minimal time outside of the classroom for something that I don’t care about. I already know the degree of my skills in a language; as such, the test feels like a waste of time. Furthermore, the opportunity to further my learning is being taken away from me because the duration of the test is so long.

This test should ultimately be optional for students to take. Some students want their seal of biliteracy, and that is perfectly respectable. However, others simply want to extend their knowledge of their chosen language instead of focusing on redundant material.

Instead of using class time, there should be study sessions after school or during students’ free periods. This way, students genuinely interested in taking the test could do so, but class would still remain a place for learning instead of revolving entirely around test preparation.

Although I didn’t enjoy the experience of taking the AAPPL test, there are still some students that wanted to try and that should not be taken away from them. Adjustments must be implemented going forward, but the AAPPL can be effective if the right steps are taken.

Too much time is being wasted for students who don’t want to take the test. The opportunity of enhancing one’s abilities on the language should not be removed for extended periods of time. When it comes to students who are simply interested in learning, the AAPPL should not be administered.