Point: Should teachers hand back tests for students to keep?

Hallie Whitman and Natasha Talukdar, Hallie Whitman, and Natasha Talukdar

Students understand the value of being able to keep tests to use in the future.  Material from previous tests or quizzes is often repeated throughout the year on midterms, finals, and Regents exams.  Having old tests on hand enables students to look back and learn from their mistakes in order to prevent making the same ones again.

“If teachers gave tests back, then that would help us with practice for future tests and finals,” said junior Kahaf Buhyan.

Although many teachers subscribe to the belief that giving tests back facilitates cheating, the practice of holding tests from students is unjustified.  It is understandable for teachers to want to keep tests from students who would pass them along to students who take the class in subsequent years, but the majority of honest, hardworking students are preemptively punished as well.

Ultimately, the majority of students suffer from a few students’ dishonest actions.

“Not all students are cheaters,” said senior Dana Majewski.  “Most have moral values, and would never cheat in such a way.  I think it is totally unfair and downright terrible for some students to ruin it for everyone.”

Also, students are likely to repeat the same mistakes again and again if they have no way of knowing what they are doing wrong.  Many high school level classes are cumulative, and teachers assume that students recall past material.

“It is important for students to be able to review the material and learn from their mistakes in order to build upon their knowledge,” said senior Christianne Bharath.

Additionally, over the course of a single unit, many teachers give small quizzes to ensure that students understand the material.  Such quizzes should be returned to students, as they are helpful references when studying for unit exams.  Teachers do students a disservice by keeping these quizzes from them because students are unaware of possible points of error, and will not learn the unit to the best of their ability.

“Students can learn best by having the ability to view their correct and incorrect work,” said sophomore Olivia Mann.  “All tests and quizzes should be handed back.”

Ultimately, it is well within students’ rights to receive their tests and quizzes back for future use.  Students should be able to have past tests at their disposal to study from for cumulative exams.  The policy of keeping tests from students does more harm than good.