Objective Timed Testing

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Issue: Speech 104 does impose timed testing constrains on students.

Most public school classrooms use timed tests as a method for a measurement of student’s academic knowledge. Although timed tests do not seem to be a problem for some students, other students become highly stressed out by taking them.

Timed tests not only require a student to recall quickly information under pressure, but these tests may also cultivate a rote-learning environment within the class. Some educators may argue that memorization-learning is a good practice. Others say that “it keeps students up on their toes and it forces them to read the book and take notes.” It may be so, but usually some students who may be at the top of the class or generally, who have no problems taking multiple choice tests seem to do better than those who do have testing problems. According to research, many students who cannot perform well on timed tests often feel a sense of failure and inferiority, and neither of these self perceptions may help any student ultimately succeed in school. Timed tests also induce rote learning, whereby it is necessary to memorize information that may not come out on the test. According to research, a significant number of students are subject to rote learning who forget what they had memorized about when the test is over.

According to research, if no time imposed constraints are imposed on test takers, their performance may improve and test scores may increase because of decreased anxiety and extended time to consider possible answers for the questions.

All Speech 104 tests that are administered exist within time limits for completion. The standard time used is 15 minutes for 11 multiple choice questions. The questions are not easy, as they mostly require rote memorization to be used to choose the correct answer. Prescribed time limits for testing are not allowing test takers enough time to calmly and rationally consider all of the items on a test without the overwhelming feeling of working rushed. Many times, such time limits may significantly affect the student’s test scores. In these cases, the scores become determined by the speed of their response or the number of attempted test items rather than the power of the responses or the accuracy of the answers supplied by the student. The more items on a test that students may lack enough time to complete, the greater the risk of inaccuracy and unreliability of the results becomes. It would be valuable to test the amount of significance that exists in the differences between the correlation of a constrained, timed examination versus an untimed exam along with the feelings and anxiety of the examinees that have to take them (Rindler, 1979). Later suggestions for corrections in this area will be suggested.

According to research, the varied formats of tests (essay, true/false, multiple choice, etc.) along with the manner in which a test is administered (timed/untimed, individual or group administration) may directly affect an individual's performance on a test. Each individual has a different affective make up (Rindler, 1979). Whether or not a test is timed may have negative effects on many students. Some students may perform well on timed tests, while others may feel pressured, anxious, and less confident while taking a timed test and as a result, their scores may suffer. Whenever a test is administered with strict time constraints, such as those administered in Speech 104, the possibility that some students will not have enough time to finish the test steadily increases along with their anxiety level. To reduce such risks, students may need self assurance in that they will have ample amount of time to complete an exam, which would eliminate (to some extent) their personal concerns regarding the speed of their performance along with the remaining time (Elliot & Marquart, 2004). In addition, test takers may have more time available to unpack the...
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