BY ASHLYN COHEN
To help give students the opportunity to relieve stress in college from having to take an extra civics course, Florida mandates that students are given a standardized exam that could potentially exempt them from this course. If students are able to pass, public Florida universities will excuse them.
This exam gives students the chance to save money in college so it’s important that they prepare to the best of their ability.
“As annoying as testing can be, as a soon-to-be University of North Florida student I know that passing this exam will help relieve a lot of stress in the future,” senior Natalie Villalon said. “To prepare for the test, my government teacher Mr. Cardinale went over court cases as well as a lot of practice tests that really helped when I was taking the test and now I feel very confident.”
As helpful as this exam can be, most students haven’t taken a civics course since seventh grade and are currently in an Advanced Placement (AP) Macroeconomics class as their main course and are missing out on in-class review to help prepare for the test.
“I really don’t remember much civics because I haven’t learned any of it in five years so I’ve forgotten a lot,” senior Jessica Briganti said. “AP Macro[economics] is an intense course since it’s a year’s worth of content in one semester. This makes it hard when there is a state exam that involves topics covered in government and we don’t have time to review.”
This caused students to have to take the time outside of the classroom to really study and prepare so they can receive the benefits in college.
“On top of all the work I already have and working a part-time job,” Briganti said. “I had to make extra time to study and sacrificed sleep to make sure I knew the content going in.”
For some students, studying wasn’t an option.
“I was really hoping that there were only review sessions online that were accessible through Canvas,” senior Daniel Rizzi said. “I work after school and I don’t feel that the school took this exam as seriously as it was considering all the benefits they provide for students in college. I was hoping there were more reviews in class but it’s okay because overall I thought they were very basic questions on the United States (US) government.”
Many believed that the test wasn’t bad but didn’t provide any real benefit for college.
“I didn’t really prepare myself as much as I should’ve but the exam wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” senior Jordan Gara said. “I don’t really feel that this exam will be that beneficial for me in the future as an Accountant major, other than the fact that it’s one less class I’ll have to take.”
Regardless, the Florida Civics Literacy Exam (FCLE) is an important assessment of students’ knowledge of the US government. It allows the board of education to have accurate data on how well-educated students in Florida are in basic civics literary knowledge.