I had a question posed to me recently that caused me momentary pause. --- Would you cheat on a test if you knew you would not get caught? My immediate reaction to that is, “No, of course not!” ….and I honestly don’t believe I would. My conscience would kill me!
As I talked with a friend of mine about this, she shared her boyfriend just answers according to a pattern. Apparently, multiple choice tests, although answers should be random, have some kind of pattern, that if skilled enough to catch, can make the test easier, even if you don’t know the answer! I’m not nearly clever enough to figure that out. That would take longer than taking the test!
Another friend says her son just doesn’t care and puts the same letter all the way through the test. Needless to say, this young man has problems passing the test! Is this the same idea “Jim-Bob” had when he was going to deliberately fail his test? The child who doesn’t care, or even try to do his best, is cheating himself.
As I researched this idea, I came across some ways that suggest you can do better on a test even if you don’t know all the right answers. The first one mentioned, I remember from high school. The idea of “none or all of the above” is often a good choice. I also remember be cautioned to never check “never” or “always” because there is “always an exception!”
I also remember from high school that sometimes if you re-read the questions near (or sometimes one further away) the one you are stumped on, it can give you clues to the one you don’t know. There are plenty of other ideas for “jump-starting” a test if you look for them. But for me, the best way to do well on a test is to know the material! What good is taking the test if you don’t care enough about what you’re learning?
Perhaps that is a radical idea! I know our students are often overwhelmed with information and data for a variety of different classes. And sadly, much of what our children learn, is “for the test.” I have issues with that! Isn’t learning information supposed to be of more value than just for plugging into a test? It should be vital and worthwhile! Am I being difficult here and the only one who feels this way?
Share your thoughts on test taking, cheating, even if it's not doing your best, and how you feel about our children "learning" to "take the test."