Why I don’t believe in Test Grades





…am I an idiot?

Throughout school I have always felt sort of like an… idiot, for lack of better words. I’ve always received sub-par grades and never really been the top of my class. Of course this led to me feeling incompetent and unmotivated. Well, when I kind of grew out of my shell as I got older, and I got to know more people and branched out, I realized I’m a pretty well-rounded person and I’m actually quite intelligent- book and street wise. So naturally, this got me to thinking about how school systems work (or mine in Seattle, Washington) and why I get such bad grades if I’m smart.

My number one problem with schools and how they grade is test scores. It’s not fair to teach on a broad subject, but scrutinize the tests into tiny seemingly pointless details. My example of this would be a test on WWII. Of course I’m going to know who the main allies of the war were, the date it took place, the main people involved, probably the presidents of each country at the time, etc. But a test would ask me: Who was Hitler’s cousin’s daughter’s fiancĂ©? How is this going to help me in remembering WWII? When I’m studying, why would I remember that unimportant, tiny, STUPID detail? It’s not fair.

It’s not fair to test on unrelated topics.

Not to mention these stupid tests make up for a majority of the grade you receive in the class. So hey, you better remember Romeo and Juliet’s best friends daughters baby daddy’s name or you’re going to fail your English class. And just to let you know, even if you could write an autobiography on Martin Luther King, be given a blank map and write every single country and major city in it, all of the wars throughout the U.S.’ history, or every single president and vice president in the U.S. history, you would still fail your class because you didn’t remember the man’s daughter’s of the sister’s friend who started the transatlantic railroad.

Now I’m not blaming one person. Because it could be the school board, it could be the particular school, it could be the principal, it could be the teacher, whoever. I just think that writing an essay on a book and showing you understand the entire concept is a lot more worthy than answering 10 multiple choice bullshit questions and having that count for 90% of your grade.

You can think of it this way.. You’re applying for your dream job and the interviewer just asks you “what middle school did your father go to?” and your answer is part of the reason why you get or don’t get the job. The middle school your father attended has NOTHING to do with the job you’re applying for, the skills you have that will help you, your customer service experience, anything. It’s just a random, unrelated question. That’s how I feel about most of the questions on tests. It doesn’t test your knowledge, it tests your trivia.

It’s not just me. The just pretty much don’t use standardized testing at all. They focus more on helping the students become well-rounded people, and help them get on the correct track for their careers. Grades aren’t really emphasized and aren’t even given to students until high school. This is a lot different than how I was raised, because even if I didn’t understand a concept in my class, I would do anything to cram for that class to get a 91.5% so I could get that A and keep my GPA up. Even though I had no idea what the class was about.

We wonder why doctors are moving here from out of country and becoming our leading heart surgeons, best eye doctors, etc? Well, chances are they have better training and education than any doctor from here.. The U.S. can really from other countries and their education systems. It’s not just a blog I’m writing or a few articles I’ve read, there is proof that other countries do it better than us. We may be the “land of the free” or the “most successful” (which we’re not) but we’re also the land of the