The Alternative Road

Essay by KRAZZYKRUniversity, Bachelor's June 2005

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The Alternative Road;

They are a constant presence in everyone's life. It is a simple truth that we have each been subject to them in some form or another at various points throughout our years. It may also go with out saying that in most instances they have been greeted with nothing but scowled faces and a solid stream of complaints. What is this repugnant enigma of our existence that is being referred to here? It is simply... a test.

From the moment one begins his/her academic career, tests are an aspect that is not only inevitable, but also unavoidable. The test is the most commonly used, as well as the oldest, form of assessment. They come in various shapes and disguises. These may include; a multiple choice test printed on a scantron, a series of essay questions placed on a handout, or perhaps an oral quiz where the students scrawl their answers on their very own notebook paper.

Whatever the preferred method may be, the test is designed to gauge a student's progress. That is, the test is intended to give an idea to the teacher, the parent, as well as the student as to what knowledge he/she has learned and retained within a given period of time. Is this simple form of testing always an appropriate means of assessment, however?

To argue this, let's look at an orange. On the surface, an orange is said to be "good for you". It is a healthy fruit that is full of vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need to grow and function properly. This assessment of an orange's attributes is comparable to the common test. It is a rough estimate of what is accomplished. Just like the orange is said to be "good for you"; a student may earn an...