Notes are definitely needed on tests


Photo By Shelby Summerhays

Look how easy and better it would be to use notes, it helps students better understand the unit by re-reading again.

Shelby Summerhays, Staff Writer

When students write an essay, do their math homework, or complete a science lab it is likely that they have their notes nearby so that they can be sure they are not misguided.  Similarly, when taking tests, students should be allowed to use the information found in their notes.

One reason a student should be allowed to use their notes while taking an exam is that the idea of memorizing concepts for a test is completely defective.

By committing facts to memory, a student is not accumulating any new skills.  In the article The Forgetting Curve, Dr. John Wittman wrote, “In a study conducted by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, students were required to complete a test by memorizing a list of words.  It was found that 95 percent of the information was lost three days after taking the test”(Wittman).  Demanding students’ study to only forget what they learned after a test is entirely unreasonable.

It is still vital, students still study for an open not test, however they will become less focused on memorizing facts, and instead focus on how they can use the concepts introduced in class in the real world.  Freshman Alyssa Neave said, “I think using my notes on tests would be very helpful on a test because I would be able to concentrate better.”

With access to notes while testing, a student would have the opportunity to look up facts, but they would now be tested on if they truly understand what those concepts mean and how they are used in real life.

Senior Madelyn Summerhays said, “Using notes on a test would help me learn a lot more about ideas expressed in the classroom.”  Giving the opportunity to also use notes would also give teachers the chance to create more challenging tests, so students can be graded more precisely.

Many teachers believe that open note tests are ineffective, however a recent study from Rutgers University, discovered that 68 percent of students claimed that they had cheated on a test before.  It would make more sense for teachers to allow students to use notes to prevent them from cheating.

Ultimately, school would be more effective at teaching its students what they need to know to one day be successful if open note policies were established.