OPINION: College professors shouldn’t administer exams

Lexi Petri 

lpetri@uccs.edu 

     Stress. Pressure. Failure. All effects of taking exams. We spend countless hours studying for a test just to become more stressed and panicked, which results in failure. We are given too many exams that don’t contribute or help further our learning of the topic.  

     According to TargetStudy, exams can bring on stress and anxiety for students as well as pressure to succeed and excel in the class. This can result in students feeling less prepared with the material and instead worrying about how it will affect their grade.  

     When we fail an exam, we tend to think that we failed ourselves and the professor, instead of focusing on learning the material we didn’t know.  

     Students experience a lack of confidence when receiving a poor grade on an exam, according to TargetStudy. There have been times when I’ve done the homework, taken notes, participated in class and studied for the exam only to not get the grade I wanted or deserved. I then resort to thinking that I don’t know  the material that I thought I did.  

     Professors usually supply the high score and low score for exams, as well as an average so students can see where their score lies. This can also cause students to think that they aren’t succeeding when they fall below the average score or closer to the lowest. It also exposes students who did fail the exam. We compare ourselves to other students and ask, “Why couldn’t I score the same as they did?” or “What am I doing wrong?”  

     Professors typically determine a student’s progress in the course by administering an exam; however, this doesn’t accurately display what students have learned or taken away from the class.  

     I excel through lectures, homework assignments and smaller quizzes, but I am a poor test taker and feel that it doesn’t accurately show that I actually do know the material.  

     I disagree with the concept of exams helping students further their understanding of the subject. You either know the material or you don’t at the time of an exam.  

     Factoring in the pressure of doing well and the stress from trying to get a good score will make the students that do understand the material question what they know, and in return, they may fail the exam.  

     Classes should provide us with the material to learn a subject that applies toward our chosen careers. They shouldn’t make us question whether or not we made a mistake in choosing this path, which is exactly what exams do. We then question ourselves: Why can’t I be smarter in this subject? I thought I understood this; what am I missing? And finally, we ask, should I be in a different major? 

     Have you ever had a classmate tell you they got a 98% on an exam and they ask you what you got, and you lie because you don’t want people to think less of you?  

     Exams crush our reputation and increase stress and anxiety levels. All of this could be reduced if we didn’t have to take exams in our classes.  

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