Upon the completion of the notorious “Finals Week,” many (if not all) college students are grateful that the large amounts of stress are finally over. The real question is, “Why do so many college students stress about finals?” I believe that a mass majority of the stress that college students experience every semester is due to the pressure of having to memorize the material learned throughout the semester.
The thought that every little detail or topic that you forget can drop your grade more and more can cause you to become discouraged and feel like you just want to give up. Not only does this way of thinking apply to finals week, but it also applies to any closed-book test that students must take. Tests have become more about memorization than about ensuring the material is retained properly and accurately. It is time to change the way that tests are administered in college.
I have always been a firm believer that tests do not truly measure one’s knowledge and abilities. Instead, tests just seem to rank students on their ability to memorize material in a short amount of time, thus inferring that every student is capable of learning the same amount of material within a time frame designated by the professor who lives and breathes the material on a daily basis. Because of this mentality, tests are almost always closed-book; and oftentimes, notes are not acceptable. Why is it that resources like the internet are not allowed to be used on tests?
The internet, the world’s most powerful communication tool, contains enough information to almost entirely saturate the human brain with information. Millions of pieces of information regarding anything you could possibly want to know can be found in a fraction of a second.
The sheer power and speed of information within the internet is almost unfathomable. So why is it that such a powerful tool is prohibited when it comes to tests, especially when almost everyone has access to the internet on their person at all times? Why not update learning curriculum in parallel with the updates and innovations of technology?
The utilization of the internet on tests and other schoolwork could greatly increase the accuracy of retained knowledge by students. Let’s be honest — if knowledge that is retained is not accurate, that knowledge is useless and the time that was spent on obtaining that inaccurate knowledge is wasted. In addition, college is supposed to provide you with the proper foundation required to obtain a job in your field of interest/study; but what job today does not allow the use of the internet?
Why spend 4+ years learning the foundations of your field of study without the full utilization of a resource that will be used in your daily workflow when you graduate and get a job? I mean honestly, what employer is going to tell you that you have so many minutes to solve so many problems that could mean life or death in a certain situation with nothing but your retained knowledge and a calculator?
The internet has completely changed the way the world communicates and shares information, yet it does not seem to have the monumental effect that would be expected on the way students learn, retain, and regurgitate information they have learned. Let’s see a change to allow the internet to be a common, unrestricted resource in the college curriculum.