To Test or Not to Test

Daira Gentrup, Graphic Artist

The end of the semester is worst part of the year for any college student. There are colds, flus and other illnesses flying around. You have to make it home to see you family for the holidays and you have to remember everything thing your professors have said in the last 16 weeks.

Sounds like a pretty tough challenge, but does it have to be?

If I’m already passing the class, shouldn’t that be enough to tell the professor that I know the information? I’ve taken every test, handed in homework and understand the information. Why do I have to be tested on it more than once?

On the other hand, maybe I’m not doing so hot in the class. Should I be given the final as one last chance to show teachers that I have learned what they have be teaching me all semester?

Tests and exams have always been apart of life, but is the 90-question multiple-choice test over a semester’s worth of lectures the only way to measure what a student has learned?

For many students this evaluation method works great. They can sit down and ace it. But for others it’s not so easy. Once the test is in front of them, it won’t matter how much studying they did, the information is gone.

I am one of those students who can barley look over the information, complete a test in 15 minutes, and still get an A. Tests are easy for me and because they account for so much of the grade, homework doesn’t matter as much. In my opinion there should be more emphasis placed on homework.

If the homework was worth a little more maybe some students who understand the information, but have test anxiety, could actually do well for once.

Another solution could be to have more than one type of testing. Maybe some students do better with essay type questions and some excel at fill-in-the-blanks.

Nobody’s mind works in the same way, so why should we test everybody the same way?

Making the final exam optional sounds like a good idea to me. The amount of stress it could take off my shoulders would be more than enough incentive to push me to get a better grade throughout the year so I wouldn’t have to take the final. And if that doesn’t work for everyone, then the final is still there for a last chance to improve your grade.

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