OP: Students should have other options aside from test taking

27 November 2018

Quinita Thomas

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I love learning just as much as the next person. However, when it comes to practicing what was taught in class, I’m not as on board with standard procedure: taking a test.

While there may be a good handful of students who can take exams easily, there is an equal handful of students who may not do as well. For some, test taking is not effective, because there is a certain time period to circle a bubble for each questions; and the information is not well retained afterwords.

UCCS professors should offer students the chance  to prove their knowledge without having to take a test.

Low test scores can  affect negatively one’s mental health. According to United Way, mental health affects how people think, the choices they make and how they interact with others. When a student scores low on a test, they might feel like they are not smart, or that they are not as good students as their peers.

While there are plenty tips on how to study and pass exams, there is a key factor to everyone’s education that is often missed. The factor that every student is different and that every student retains information in their own way.

In further detail, some students might be great at memorization and not writing, while another student might be a great writer but have poor memorization skills.

A blog on soeonline.american.edu suggests that not only are standardized test designed to cause anxiety and ludicrous nights of studying, but that 80 percent of teachers suggest that the testing system takes up too much of students’ time.

Up to 15 percent of the time allocated to the school year is spent taking assessments or preparing for them, and teachers can spend up to 26 percent of their time preparing for assessments. The actual testing process typically takes between 20 and 25 hours each year, and administering the entire testing system costs an estimated $1.7 billion.

Luckily with the help and advancement of technology, there are other creative solutions that should or can be used. One method is game based. According to this blog, about 97 percent of folks from the ages of 12-18, spend a lot of time playing games which is  an obvious hint of where test taking should go. This method measures teamwork, stamina and creativity. A game based test could ease a students test-taking fears and help teachers understand the process of solving and learning.

Another solution could be based on portfolios. With this strategy students are more likely to have an optimistic attitude towards school and can use various strategies while constructing their portfolios. Their progress effort can be tracked over a semester, so professors can see their overall performance. Portfolio assessments will also provide students with opportunities to research topics that interest them the most, discuss the topics among themselves and present their work to their classmates.

In the end we are all paying for our education. With that being said and in addition to the idea that UCCS is a student focused campus, we should get a say in how we apply our knowledge in the classroom to demonstrate our academic performances.