Teachers, Tests Aren't The Only Or The Most Effective Way To Test Our Knowledge
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Student Life

Teachers, Tests Aren't The Only Or The Most Effective Way To Test Our Knowledge

My grade on a test doesn't mean that I've actually learned and retained anything.


Everyone knows that school means notes, homework, and tests. At this point, we've been in school for so long that it's just expected. But have you ever felt like you took a test and you just didn't feel like it really tested your knowledge? I have.

And no, I don't say that because I failed or didn't do well on a test. I've taken tests and made A's on them, but I still felt like I didn't actually learn anything and it didn't reflect knowledge that would help me later in life.

I'm an English major so obviously I've taken countless literature classes. These classes can be frustrating because why do I have to know exactly who said a quote, what act they said it in, what story the quote is from and what year it was all said? How is that going to help me later in life? How will that help me when it comes time to find a job?

Recently, in one of my journalism classes, we watched a movie. The movie was "Live From Baghdad," and it was about CNN during the Gulf War and how they were the only news network to capture the events in Baghdad. It was actually a really interesting movie, which I wasn't expecting to say about it because it's not my kind of typical movie.

Because of some unforeseen circumstances, my professor cancelled class the day we were supposed to finish the movie so she told us to finish it outside of class, which I did because I was enjoying the movie. She also told us that she was going to give us a short quiz to make sure we were paying attention to the movie.

I wasn't worried about it because I watched the movie. However, when I got to the test, the questions were things like "what was this character buying when he met his team at the beginning of the movie?" or "what kind of sandwich did this man bring with him?"


What kind of questions are these? How are these going to prove I was paying attention? I wasn't paying attention to the small things like that. I was paying attention to the real details. I was paying attention to how they did what they did. I was paying attention to the things that were important to the plot.

I didn't fail this quiz, but I didn't do too well on it either. And I just don't think that asking random questions about what a character bought to snack on in the beginning of the movie tests whether or not I paid attention. What I was paying attention to when he was buying snacks was his meeting with colleagues to form a team and work in Baghdad.

In other classes, I study materials and try to retain a bunch of information, but just because I can regurgitate what my textbook tells me, doesn't mean I will succeed in the real world.

So, teachers, remember that tests don't test my knowledge and they don't really reflect on if I learned anything.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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