Chairs of pain

The AP test effect is not pleasant.

Chair of Pain

Elise Mariano

Chair of Pain

Varty Yahjian, Staff Writer

“Take the test booklet out of the shrink wrap and do not open until you are told to do so,” says Julie-Ann Melville on the day of my AP Literature test. I mentally prepared myself for the four-hour exam that would comprise of both a multiple choice portion and a section with three essays.

What I was not prepared for was the physical aspect of this test. I was not warned, nor was I made aware of the genuinely gruelling requirements this test possessed. Now, I don’t mean that my hand hurt or my wrist got sore ― no! I’m talking about my back. Why my back? Oh, it’s an interesting story.

The desk I took my exam on was the size of a small cutting board. It even looked like one too; a wood of a very light complexion with smooth corners and an ergonomically shaped edge. Nonetheless, my palm took up about a quarter of the desk and when I put my test booklet down, there was no room left ― not even enough to put an elbow down.

I proceeded to take my test, and remember it’s a four-hour long test, hunched over this tiny desk. In addition to that, I had an air conditioner vent positioned just perfectly to blow on my back. The combination of my unhealthy posture whilst sitting and the cold air being religiously slammed onto my waist led to a knot perhaps the size of a small country to be developed in my lower back.

Honestly, if we’re going to take our tests on desks the size of a notebook, can we at least be allowed stretch breaks? It’s not fair, and my back still hurts, a week later. The logical and rational solution to this problem would be bigger desks, but we need flat-screen TVs in every room instead.