A Test of Patience

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Cory Tretinik – Contributor

More stories from Cory Tretinik

Back to the Old Grind
August 29, 2016

School is all about tests. They are a way teachers can assess what their students have learned from the lesson.

Tests, however, are not the most accurate way to determine a student’s knowledge. Some students are just naturally good at taking tests. Those are the kind of students that excel in this education system. Now, these students may not be more intelligent than others, per se, but they are good at making educated guesses on multiple choice tests. Some are just good at memorizing, and don’t really ‘learn’ or internalize their notes, but memorize them.

But, isn’t memorizing knowledge? If you can memorize the Articles of Confederation, that’s pretty impressive, isn’t it? Yes, but memorization isn’t always permanent. See, most students will memorize their notes for a test, and afterward, forget them. It’ll be as though they never learned it. Most adults forget things they learned in school. Why is this? Is the education system flawed? Does it show that most of what you learn in school isn’t all that important in the real world? Does it show that, for years, students have just been memorizing for tests?

Tests alone aren’t the ONLY problem. The number of them is. There are PSATs, SATs, CATs, PSSAs, Keystones, ACTs, why so many standardized tests? It only puts more stress on students. Some students allow their performance on these tests affect their whole lives. Some get depressed if their score isn’t what they wanted, and it all comes down to, as stated earlier. Some students just take tests easier than other students, and it can be unfair to students who are intelligent, fast learners, but may be terrible at standardized tests.

What was the government’s solution to lower test scores? More tests! Because, clearly, if students are doing badly on standardized tests, more tests will only benefit them. That’s like feeding a kid with a peanut allergy peanut butter; you are doing nothing to help them. A lot of these classes like SAT Prep are mostly teaching how to take the test! The kind of answers they want, they on essay and open-ended question. Is that really a test of intelligence? It seems like just a set of instructions, and even the hardest construction projects can be made simple with just an instruction booklet