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The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

It’s time to ditch the Scantrons

Traditional tests aren’t the most effective way to measure learning
Graye Phillips

As finals season rolls around, students at CHS are working hard to catch up on missing work and study for their finals. Studies show that students prefer their performance to be graded based on doing a project rather than taking a test.

Preparing for tests usually consists of trying to cram every topic from the entire semester and memorize it. Some study methods like reading over notes and making flashcards can leave lots of room for forgetting concepts and small details. Memorization of the topics can be easily forgotten due to a lack of connection with the ideas. There is a difference between studying for a short time to pass a test instead of learning the material and retaining it.

Project finals encourage students to memorize the topics for a long amount of time to perform their best on the final. From there, students can express their knowledge of the curriculum through creative methods and not forget about the material a couple of days later.

When the word “project” comes to mind, a visual of a big poster board with lots of colors and information might pop up in one’s brain. Making a project is using information that has been learned and showing the ideas on paper. Whether it is about a book read in class or a concept practiced for months, projects are a great way to test if certain information has been learned, unlike taking a test where the information is likely to be forgotten. This can show the true depth of the students’ understanding. It also allows the scholar to show their creative and innovative skills.

The Lancer Link interviewed 68 CHS students, and 78% of respondents prefer to not take a test and make a project for their final. Different types of learners prefer different testing styles. People who can easily retain material based on books and lectures may prefer taking a test. Students who are more visually and hands-on find projects easier to do well on.

Some say tests are easier as well as more straightforward. Tests leave less room for creativity making it less sophisticated. For some students, they prefer to fill in bubbles instead of writing and drawing. They believe that it is easier to gauge the information on a test rather than having more freedom on a project.

Taking a test with other classmates can be less stressful and more effective. With multiple brains working towards one goal, the amount of information and creativity will be expanded. There is a higher chance of putting more accurate data as well as more thought-out answers. Taking a test with other people can also take the stress off. Instead of taking on all the pressure at once to remember everything and maintain accurate answers, all ideas can be put in together.

Although tests are the traditional way to test students’ knowledge, students’ brains are developing in a more creative way which means we need to be challenging them. This gives creative freedom and brings less stress to students.

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About the Contributor
Graye Phillips
Graye Phillips, Reporter
Graye Phillips is a freshman at Carlsbad High School who has a passion for journalism and reporting. She loves writing stories and talking to people. Another passion she has is dancing and she is a part of the Royals Dance Team and a competition member at Carlsbad Performing Arts Academy.

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