Yes, I am going to bitch about taking tests. I am one of those people who SUCKS at taking tests. It makes no difference whether I study or not. I just don’t take tests well.
I am the college student who goes to every class (most of them anyway…) and takes notes and pays attention and blah blah blah. I am not a “perfect student” because, yes, I doze off sometimes, or slack on scribbling notes to keep up. But I am in my class, soaking in the information. But I try not to think “This will be on the test” unless my teacher specifically says so. I just don’t think our education should surround tests. But it does.
In high school, we were either talking about standardized tests like the CSAPS, learning how to take the ACT/SAT, or preparing for tests in classes that would apparently prepare us for college tests. But LEARNING ISN’T ABOUT TAKING TESTS! That’s not what learning information looks like! As a teacher, I don’t want to base my class or my students’ grades on tests. But I also understand the point of some of them…. it’s a fine line.
As a student who puts effort into my schooling (sometimes more, sometimes less), I want my grade to reflect that. But when I’m slammed with a test that doesn’t actually show my understanding or knowledge, I am a little pissed off. And I’m allowed to be. Everything revolves around a grade or a GPA. So when my grade suffers because I can’t fill in the correct bubble, I am mad that the teacher doesn’t really know how much I know. (And yes, I’m also that student who feels like I’ve let down the world by not getting a B or higher – which is impressive to me because I have a step-sister and a few friends from high school who would be close to suicidal if she had anything lower than an A…)
I want to know the best ways to test all students and show they actually learn in my class. I want to know what works best for all my students and try to incorporate it somehow in my classroom. I want to let my students know that I understand that not everyone tests well, while others pass classes because they were kissed on the forehead by the testing god when they were born. Some people are just like that; school is effortless for them, or so it seems. I plan on researching this and trying out different “testing” methods that aren’t just filling in bubbles and making your mark heavy and dark.
If anyone has had any teachers who threw a test to them, but it wasn’t the “normal kind of test,” let me know! I am interested in seeing other ways that students can be assessed and show they are learning along with showcasing previous knowledge.