Opinion: Fitness testing is unnecessary

Fitness testing is an unnecessary form of assessments that overwork students and push unrealistic expectations on every student taking them


Allie Everhart

The state of Illinois requires students to undergo fitness testing in their P.E. classes. Though the idea is to keep students physically healthy, some students may feel it takes a toll on them socially and emotionally.

Freedom Tomasello, Opinions Editor

The fitnessgram pacer test is a test most students dread, and it’s only one of the 4 required assessments in the physical education curriculum. The tests consist of a 60 second curl up test, a pushup test, a flexibility assessment, and the pacer, along with the teacher marking down both the height and weight of every student. These tests measure where a student falls based on their physical abilities compared to national standards. 

With these tests being required, students have no choice but to participate. That being said, tests bring stress regardless of the topic, so the fitness tests are no different. Students are expected to score as best as they can, but everyone has different physical capabilities. It’s not fair to put a star athlete against someone who may not play sports in a series of athletic tests. Of course their results will be different, but they’re expected to both hit the same goals.

After taking the tests, students have to fill out a sheet with their scores where they see if they’re meeting the national standards. Having to fill out this form and students seeing their abilities being in what’s considered the red-zone whereas other students in the same class are surpassing the green-zone can take a toll on those kids. 

At the end of each semester, teachers congratulate students who excelled in the tests, either by creating new records or just overall being physically fit. This leaves other students to compare themselves to those who met the standards, not only does this affect mental health but it opens the gate for bullies to target those who may not score as well on the tests.

“Students can see the areas they grew, or the areas they need to improve.  The PE department also analyzes the data to see where we can change our curriculum, to help improve where the data shows weaker test scores as a school.” Says Colleen Eddy, a PE teacher at MCHS. 

It is important for the district to know where they can improve in their curriculums, but there are better ways to go about it instead of essentially forcing students to run until they feel they may pass out, or doing push ups until their arms feel like jello.

Overall, these tests are an unnecessary requirement in our curriculum. They cause more harm than good and should be replaced by any better alternative.