Sophomores happy after exit exam

Sophomores happy after exit exam

SURPRISE BREAK Aleksander Krogevoll, an Eastlake YMCA volunteer, hands juice to sophomore Maria Fragoso during a break from the math section of the California High School Exit Examination on Feb. 2, as YMCA Program Director Sandy Jackson looks on.

Sophomores at Media Academy felt relieved after taking the California High School Exit Examination on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2.

“I feel like I accomplished another step to graduation,” said Shantel Berry, 15.

Anthony Coleman, 16, agreed.

“I think I passed both parts because I felt confident,” said Coleman.

Students were mixed on what part was harder — the math or English.

Jessica Garcia, 15, said it was math.

“I didn’t get a chance to chance to study,” she said.

But Arnice St. Remy, 15, disagreed. She said English was harder.

“There was hecka reading,” she said. “It was like watching paint dry … boring.”

Students said they wrote an essay about which public servant they felt had given exceptional service to the community. They chose a variety of people, including a basketball coach, a crossing guard and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

Some students said they used strategies suggested to them by their English teacher, Sonja Totten-Harris, during the exam.

“Ms. T-H stayed after school to give me tips,” said Eric Love, 16. “I used some of them; I used process of elimination.”

Henry Jean-Philippe, 15, said he annotated the questions, just like Totten-Harris had suggested.

“It helped me rewrite the questions so it wasn’t so hard,” he said. “The CAHSEE uses big vocabulary words that most of us haven’t heard before.”

Jean-Philippe was among 10 out of 15 students surveyed in a sixth-period Media Studies class who said they thought they passed both parts of the exit exam. That is 75 percent, they calculated.

Results are scheduled to be released in eight weeks.