Behind the Exam: The Gears and Cogs That Make it Run

Staff Writer

Every year, the Spanish Club runs the National Spanish Exam in order to give current Spanish students an opportunity to showcase their spanish skills. Hundreds of students register each year to test their knowledge of Spanish.

“NSE is something which is recognized nationally and gives you the chance to demonstrate your fluency in Spanish,” said Spanish Club director, Sriram Balachandran (Jr.).

“It gives students the chance to show what they’ve learned, looks great on college apps, and provides students a chance to be challenged beyond the classroom,” said Spanish Club director, Jeff Guo (Jr.).

The process for preparing for the NSE is a long one. Normally, Spanish club begins planning up to 3 months in advance, covering things such as promotion, preregistration, setting up with the SAC and running classes in order to help prepare students for the exam.

Promoting the NSE is done through a variety of ways. Posters are the most common, with Spanish Club putting up posters throughout December and January in order to spread the word about the exam. In addition, teachers announce the exam in class to their students. This year, Spanish Club also made a video with some brief information on its benefits and the registration process in case students were interested.

“The club worked very hard these past months to set up and publicize the National Spanish Exam, from filming a promotional video shown to all Spanish classes to coordinating logistics with all the Spanish teachers,” said Isabelle Zhou (Sr.), president of the Spanish Club.

The logistics challenge the Spanish Club faces is difficult as well. Despite students being informed of the exam months in advance, many still wait until the last day in order to sign up for the exam. Case in point: the Friday of the deadline of the sign up date, the line outside the SAC office reached the planters, and it caused a logistical nightmare for Spanish teachers registering their students, the SAC and Spanish Club. In addition to dealing with the logistics of purchasing the exam, Spanish Club directors also manually input each student’s personal information, such as name and email, into the NSE system, in order to obtain usernames and passwords for students to use during the exam.

During testing weeks, Spanish club is busy as well. Each day for about two weeks, students come in after school into the language lab to take the exam. The process is long, requiring adult supervisors and proper administration of the test. Each spanish level comes in on a separate day to take the exam, followed by make up testing sessions.

Uno, Dos, Tres, GO! The Spanish Club does more than host academic events; it has put on multiple events throughout the year, such as its Día de los Muertos celebration. (Mika Motoshige) 

In addition to the NSE, Spanish Club also hold a Día de los Muertos cultural celebration at the beginning of the year with an NSE awards fiesta at the end. Both of these events take about a month to fully organize.

“We’ve also been planning a larger scale intra-district carnival since the beginning of the year, and we’re hoping to hold it sometime in April,” said Zhou.


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