Knoxville — Students say their time and effort was wasted after TNReady issues continued to plague East Tennessee schools Thursday.
It started after the main fiber cable between Nashville and Atlanta was cut, causing internet issues and temporary shutdowns. State officials said the cut fiber cable was caused by a dump truck.
A Tennessee Department of Education spokesperson said the issue was with local connectivity, not the testing platform.
Knox County Schools says a few schools were able to resume testing this afternoon.
Students and parents around the county are frustrated.
"I put a lot of time and effort into those study guides," L&N STEM Academy junior Derrick Washington said.
Preparing for these exams took hours of studying and stress.
"To spend that much time and effort on something, and for it not to work, is very frustrating," Washington said.
Washington was willing to put in the work, but now, it's not going to count.
"To sit there while your computer doesn't work but somebody across the hall, theirs works so you can't really leave, you can't really take out any of your electronics because people are still testing around the school," he said.
Hundreds of other East Tennessee students took TNReady tests on Thursday only to find out they were given the wrong ones.
Anderson County Director of Schools Tim Parrott said over 900 science and social students tests for students in his district were for the wrong grade level.
A spokesperson for Knox County Schools said 21 students in the district had the same issue.
Other schools completed their tests Thursday, but found they couldn't submit them.
Bearden Middle School counselor Marianne Lesler is encouraging her students to find a silver lining.
"The information that we get from the tests that are going to be successful will help us with next year," Lesler said. "And the year after. It's going to be helpful to know where the students are and where we're going to project them for next year."
She said counselors across Knox County are ready to help with the added stress students face.
"We're just going to talk it through, and we're just going to let them know, you know, we'll try again, and it will be okay," Lesler said. "And if it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. We have other ways to get information to help our students for next year."
It costs more than $30 million a year for the state to administer the TNReady test. This is the final year the state has a contract with the current testing vendor Questar.