Read the following two argumentative essays and answer the questions commented by the instructor in the post in the group:

Essay 1

“Oh my God!!! My finals will be tomorrow and I have a ton of notes to go over".  Although this last-minute anxiety about mid-term and final exams is only too familiar to most college students, many professors may not realize how such major infrequent exams work against the best interests of students both psychologically and intellectually. As far as i`m concerned, I think if professors give additional brief  exams at frequent intervals, students will be encouraged to learn more, study regularly, worry less and perform better on midterms finals and projects.

 

        The main reason why professors would rather frequently give an in-class test or quiz after each unit or chapter is to apply the course to better practice. For instance, a physics class may require a test on concepts after every covered chapter, while a history class can necessitate quizzes covering certain time periods or major even. Besides, these frequent exams help professors to find out the extent to which students are learning and what they need to go over again. Most students also feel they learn least in courses that have “only a midterm and a final exam, with no personal evaluation”, however, they believe they are able to learn most in courses with “many opportunities to see how they are doing”. For example, students who take weekly or at least twice monthly quizzes achieve higher scores on final exams than those who take only a midterm exam as testing increases their knowledge retention rate.  Second, multiple exams can encourage students to improve their study habits. Because the more tests they take the more time will be spent studying for tests. Moreover, frequent careful study and review are highly beneficial as they also make students less likely to resort to long nights of studying for major exams. I also strongly believe that frequent exams are keys to gradually developing good habits of frequent study and learning since if students have frequent exams in all their courses, they will have to schedule their study time each week and carry out an accurate work plan. Third, frequent exams may also decrease anxiety by reducing the students’ slothfulness and irregular practices. For instance, students who regularly study for exams will be less anxious and can  easily    take over their unnecessary stress as they feel well-prepared for their exam and this results in higher grades. Students , therefore, can benefit psychologically mainly if they  are not subject to the emotional ups and downs caused by major exams. Hence, frequent exams help them to overcome their worries and accomplish their potentials .

      It is true that professors believe that such exams take up too much of the limited class time available to overcome the material in the course. For instance, it may take 30 minutes to administer a 20-minute weekly exam, which will be excluded from the lecture time. However, students can easily make up for this lost time of lecturing or discussion by their own learning and regular study for the weekly exams. Another objection professors have to frequent exams is that they take too much time to read and grade. For instance, professors who have more than one class have piles of copies to correct. But instead of reading exams closely , professors  can  skim them quickly ,just to see whether students understand an idea or can apply it to an unfamiliar problem ; and instead of numerical or letter grades ,they can give a plus, check or minus. Therefore, frequent exams seem to create many problems for many professors, however, they have a vital cognitive side and they play a key factor  in the method of learning and evaluation .

       It is undeniable that frequent brief in-class exams cause a heavy burden on professors, however, they have great impact on the students’ performance as they can help to clarify the course goals, improve the students` learning and study habits as well as to reduce their anxiety. Therefore, professors should do their best to enforce this way of teaching as it helps to make remarkable differences in learning by encouraging frequent study and inspiring students’ best performance.

Essay 2

“Oh my God!!! My final will be tomorrow and I have a ton of notes to go over ” …  Although this last-minute  anxiety about midterm and final exams is only too familiar to most college students , many professors may not realize how such  major infrequent  exams work against the best interests of students both psychologically and intellectually. As far as I am concerned, I think if professors give additional brief exams at frequent intervals, this will enhance the quality of learning and teaching.

      First off, it is true that professors believe that such exams take up too much of the limited class time available to overcome the material in the course. For instance, it may take 30 minutes to administer a 20-minute weekly exam, which will be excluded from the lecture time. However, students can easily make up for this lost time of lecturing or discussion by their own learning and regular study for the weekly exams. Multiple exams, besides, can encourage students to improve the good habits of frequent study, and strongly enhance their self-independence towards learning. Furthermore, frequent careful study and review are highly beneficial as they also make students less likely to resort to long nights of studying for major exams, and decrease their anxiety and unnecessary exam stress. Moreover, most students feel they learn least in courses that have “only a midterm and a final exam, with no personal evaluation”, however, they believe they are able to learn most in courses with “many opportunities to see how they are doing”. For example, students who take weekly or at least twice monthly quizzes achieve higher scores on final exams than those who take only a midterm exam as testing increases their knowledge retention rate. Thus, frequent exams play a key role in the learning process as it helps learners to accomplish their potentials and improve their performance.

      Second, most professors believe that frequent exams take too much time to read and grade. For instance, professors who have more than one class have piles of copies to correct.  But, instead of reading exams closely , professors  can  skim them quickly ,just to see whether students understand an idea or can apply it to an unfamiliar problem ; and instead of numerical or letter grades ,they can give a plus , check or minus. Besides, the scantron machine can help in grading multiple choice exams. Moreover  , if weekly exams still seem too time-consuming to some professors , their frequency can be reduced to 5 or 10 minutes especially with the case of multiple choice exams where several questions take only a few minutes to answer ;these exams can also be given every 2 or 3 weeks. Frequent exams seem to create many problems for many professors, however, they have a vital cognitive side and they play a key factor in the method of teaching and evaluation. Therefore, professors would rather frequently give an in-class test or quiz after each unit or chapter to apply the course to better practice. For instance, a physics class may require a test on concepts after every covered chapter, while a history class can necessitate quizzes covering certain time periods or major even. Besides, these frequent exams help professors to find out the extent to which students are learning and what they need to go over again. Therefore, they help to accomplish the teaching process and achieve accuracy.

       It is undeniable that frequent brief in-class exams cause a heavy burden on professors, however, they impact greatly on the students’ performance as they can help to clarify the course goals, improve the students` learning and study habits as well as to reduce their anxiety. Therefore, professors should do their best to enforce this way of teaching as it helps to make remarkable differences in learning by encouraging frequent study and inspiring students’ best performance.

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