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Testing vs. Essays in Academia

The question of whether tests are better than papers for learning material was put to two students.

1) What is your opinion on NOAH's ANSWER?

NOAH's ANSWER: I strongly disagree that taking more tests is better than writing papers. I feel that I have learned more through researching, assembling, and finalizing my papers than I ever did through a test. In the past, I would only study for what was on a test to ensure that I received a good grade, but by writing papers I have to research the main topic, find additional sources to back up my argument, and make sure the sources are peer reviewed sources.
I have maintained an understanding of the material much better throughout my classes because of the research requirement. I find the cases interesting and relevant to everyday life, whereas a test was always just something I needed to finish and move on from.

2) What is your opinion on TIFFANY's ANSWER?

TIFFANY's ANSWER: My disagreement was stated because I have always taken tests and studied right before them and did exceptionally well. This method was not good because I did not truly retain the materials that now I wish I could have. When you write papers, the deep thoughts and methodology behind your thought process truly shows the instructor if you have grasped the material. Tests are not a good alternative due to it just being a snap shot of your ability at that time; However, when time constraints are an issue a test may be the only option. I gain a deeper connection with the concept of the material that allows me to apply each discussion with real situations. I enjoy the personal touch of the assessment of my personal writing.

My strongest argument in favor of papers is that papers allow better assessment of the students' abilities. One point made by a student in my group is that writing increases the students ability to write professional documents and I agree with that argument being made. I do think I am more similar to the people in my own group because of the point being made.

After careful consideration, I agree with my initial consideration I would not much prefer a situation where we had several tests instead of having to write so many papers.

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Noah's answer is an excellent example of how testing only results in student's "cramming" for the test to pass it while not retaining any information necessary for their future academic pursuits. As Noah stated, testing doesn't enable students to research, assemble, and assess information that will result in an understanding of the topic that ...

Solution Summary

A 224 words back up two opinions that writing papers is superior to testing for absorbing new material.