• March 3Graduation on 24 May 2018

Editorial #2: Should Standardized Tests Be Heavily Weighted for a Grade?

Photo+via+computerized+exam+under+Creative+Commons+License+
Photo via computerized exam under Creative Commons License

Photo via computerized exam under Creative Commons License

Photo via computerized exam under Creative Commons License

Tyler Powell, Editor-in-Chef

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Cons:

  1. Anxiety
    1. Testing stress clouds the brain, even when the person knows the material. They get a low grade even when they deserve something better.
  2. Exhaustion
    1. Bad timing (at the end of the year; everyone has checked out)
    2. Taking test after test exhausts the brain and makes the performance rate decline.

 

Pros:

  1. Tests are easy to some
    1. They raise your grade rather than lowering it. For those who lack creativity but think systematically, projects lower the grade but classwork/homework/tests lift it back up.

 

Solution:

  1. Average previous tests
    1. Since finals just test students on everything they learned that year, take the scores they have already received and average those. They are still being graded on the same material but have a chance of scoring higher due to being tested right after learning the material.
  2. Decrease weight
    1. Weight finals the same as regular tests, so for bad test takers, they don’t have to worry about dropping multiple letter grades.

 

Editorial

 

According to pbs.org, American students take as many as twenty standardized assessments annually and an average of ten tests in grades three to eight. These include tests such as the SAT, ACT, and here in Arizona, the AZMerit. The majority of students feel that standardized tests are weighed too heavily and shouldn’t represent who they are as a student.

 

Most test-takers experience extreme anxiety before and during tests. Testing stress clouds the brain, even when the person knows the material, which result in a low grade even when they deserve something better.

 

Also, school districts tend to schedule all their big tests in the last quarter of school, usually cramming it all into the month of April. Taking test after test lowers the productivity and performance of students. Students also tend to check out and focus on summer break instead of work, especially in the last couple months of school.

 

However, there are some students who appreciate the heavily weight of tests. For those who are naturally good at test-taking, tests raise their grades rather than lower them. For those who lack creativity but think systematically, projects lower the grade but classwork/homework/tests lift it back up.

 

For every problem, there are countless solutions. Tests can’t be taken away but there are ways to make students perform better on them. For starters, since tests like finals just test students on everything they learned that year, take the scores they have already received and average those. They are still being graded on the same material but have a chance of scoring higher due to being tested right after learning the material.

 

Also, the weight of tests such as finals could be weighed the same as regular tests in the grade books, so for bad test takers, they don’t have to worry about dropping multiple letter grades. Another solution could be to have huge tests such as AZMerit and college tests spread out throughout the year. Don’t have two big tests in the same month, but don’t give big tests after March, either.

 

Tests are essential to a student’s learning. However, they don’t have to be a student’s worst nightmare. With fair rules put in place tests don’t have to be stressful activities that students perform poorly on.

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