Why do students often feel frustration after their final tests? Why are they dissatisfied by their achievements and results? The problem can depend not only on the level of the students’ knowledge but also on the degree of the tension and anxiety which are associated with the preparation and review of the material during the last days before the final examination.
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In spite of the fact students can orient in the material well, the stressful situation can influence their test results. If there are no weekly or monthly tests during the whole course, students do not have the opportunity to improve their study skills, and the final examination can become the real challenge for them.
In his essay “More Testing, More Learning”, Patrick O’Malley discusses all these controversial questions and provides the solution to the problem which is based on implementing more frequent tests during the course in order to control the students’ progress in studying, stimulate their motivation, and improve their study skills.
The additional examinations, frequents tests, and quizzes during the course can be discussed as the effective organizational means to improve the students’ performance and the level of knowledge with accentuating the regular work and reducing the possible procrastination and anxiety connected with the final tests.
The examinations which influence the final mark of the students for their performance during the definite courses are the main reasons of the students’ worrying at the end of the academic terms. Moreover, the stressful situation of the examination and the inadequate tension during the preparation period often influence the students’ achievements negatively.
In addition to that, many students prefer to procrastinate and not to study regularly and efficiently during the course. O’Malley states that “if professors gave additional brief exams at frequent intervals, students would learn more, study more regularly, worry less, and perform better on midterms, finals, and other papers and projects” (O’Malley 488).
In spite of the fact I am not inclined to procrastinate, it is rather difficult for me to recollect all the necessary information during the last days before the examination because of the stressful situation, and the courses with many additional tests are more useful for me.
Thus, brief examinations, additional tests, and quizzes provided by professors weekly or monthly can be considered as the good stimulating factors for the students’ effective performance and activity. These short examinations can be used for developing students’ study habits and skills and for organizing the students’ academic activity.
The necessity of the regular tests during the course depends on the basic principles of studying as the regular and continuous process. Thus, to achieve the best results in study, it is necessary not only to develop the learning skills and examine a lot of information but also to control the progress in learning regularly with the help of the definite tests and short examinations.
From this point, final tests are not effective in organizing and controlling the students’ performance during whole course. O’Malley indicates the fact that final examinations and tests “don’t encourage frequent study, and they fail to inspire students’ best performance” (O’Malley 488).
I agree with the point because the necessity of writing tests during the course helps me organize learning the material regularly because I can set definite small goals and achieve them while completing the tests effectively. To contribute to the students’ good performance, it is important to develop the system of lectures and discussions as well as tests for controlling the students’ short-term achievements in studying and understanding the material.
Students study certain subjects and follow definite courses in order to develop their vision of this or that field, to expand their knowledge, and to improve their skills. However, to be successful in learning the definite material, students should also know how to learn it efficiently. In this case, it is important to work out the system in relation to which students could develop their learning skills.
The control of the material’s understanding is the necessary part of this system. According to O’Malley, “frequent exams are key to developing good habits of study and learning” (O’Malley 489). Analyzing my academic performance, I can state that motivation is the significant factor for me, and it helps concentrate on the task. Students are able to present the best results in their academic performance when they are highly motivated.
The absence of the regular control can contribute to the development of the procrastination habits and to reducing the degree of the students’ involvement in the process of studying. Moreover, the risk of the anxiety during the preparation for the examination is directly connected with the students’ habits to cope with the regular tests during the course.
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Students’ high academic performance and the good results in the final tests and examinations depend on many factors. Patrick O’Malley presents the arguments that the tradition of using significant examinations after the whole course without concentrating on the short examinations, brief tests and quizzes during the course can be discussed as ineffective and reducing the students’ learning habits and skills.
In spite of the fact many professors can consider such practice as time-consuming, it is one of the most effective methods to control the students’ achievements and their studying process in order to avoid procrastination and anxiety.
The students’ learning process is effective not when they prepare only for the final examination at the end of the course because of the absence of certain tests, but when they have to organize the material, use their knowledge, and write tests regularly. That is why frequent tests are more useful for stimulating the students’ motivation and good results.
O’Malley, Patrick. “More Testing, More Learning”. Reading Critically, Writing Well: A Reader and Guide. Ed. Rise B. Axelrod, Charles R. Cooper, and Alison M. Warriner. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. 488-492. Print.