Exams Prove to be Better Option than Projects


Students go to school in order to learn as much as they can and take a final exam to show how much information they have stuffed into their noodles. The schooling conveyor belt has spat out young scholars in this way for as long as most can remember.

Until now.

Sept. 8, 2015, “Montgomery County’s Board of Education voted unanimously to eliminate the two-hour semester-end exams and replace them with shorter assessments taken during the quarter that could take different forms: tests, essays, portfolios and projects,” according to a Washington Post article from this day. The changes will take effect this upcoming school year.

This, of course, seems like a great idea on the surface. Students take too many tests, educators say. Our kids are stressed from all this testing, parents say.

However, taking exams away in order to destress high school kids is the equivalent to moving an inmate’s execution date four years into the future. Yes, some high school kids will enjoy MCPSa�� break up with exams, but this is a short-term solution that will only make the problem worse in the long run.

The problem is this: Whether students and helicopter parents like it or not, colleges are not getting rid of exams any time soon. High school is an important time for students to learn how to sit for a two hour exam, because they will absolutely have to do this on multiple occasions once they reach college. Considering how MCPS loves to preach that their students are trained to be college-ready, why are they shooting their own students in the feet?

The SAT and ACT also come to mind, two tests that college-bound students almost always have to take in order to get into college. Currently, the SAT is a minimum of three hours long, with a 50 minute optional essay attached, while the ACT is a minimum of two hours and 55 minutes long with an extra 40 minute writing portion. So, MCPS, if students are too stressed to take a two hour exam, how are they going to perform on three hour tests that have a say in where they go to college?

MCPS is proud of how they have moved away from exams, and believe they are doing their students a favor. Many students are ecstatic with the change, which makes sense. However, these same students praising MCPS currently will one day be sitting in their seat ready to take the SAT or ACT. Or even worse, sitting in a chair at their university ready to take their first college exam.

They may start to feel fidgety. They will probably lose stamina quickly, and crawl to the finish line. And when they see their score, they probably will not be happy.

But hey, good thing MCPS is getting rid of those darn high school exams.