Editorial: The problem with giving out the same form of test

Most courses at Schreiber have more than one period when the course is offered, and often times more than one teacher teaches the class.  Having multiple sections of each class in a day can becomes a huge issue when teachers give tests because many times, not all of these classes meet at the same time or on the same days in the cycle.  This means that different classes end up taking the same test at different times, and sometimes even on different days depending on when their class meets.

Whenever one class takes a test before another and teachers give all of their classes the same exam, students who take the test first often times tell their friends in the other class information about the material on the test. Though this information can sometimes just whether or not they thought the test was hard, often times, students tell others full questions from the exam so they can learn how to do them beforehand, or even the answers to questions they found particularly difficult.  

Regardless of how much information is spread from one class to another on test days and how specific it is, taking exams at a later time or date gives these select students a clear advantage.  Furthermore, in a high school where final grades are calculated mostly from students’ performance on tests, exam scores can have significant weight on their class averages, and consequently their grade point average.  Thus, students who receive help from their peers in earlier classes are given a significant, unfair advantage in this regard. 

However, while students in the later classes may benefit from having higher grades, they will also be hurt in the long run.  This is because they will not be able to truly learn and absorb all of the material covered in the class for those units that have tests where they will be able to rely on the “hints” from their friends, which could lead to lower performance on final exams, where they cannot get information about the test in advance.

One solution to this problem would be for all teachers in this situation to create multiple forms of the same test, as many do already.  They could either mix up all the questions on the exam, or complete other