I believe that testing has its place in the classroom. It is a necessary evil to determine how a student is grasping information. However, it should not be the only tool used to evaluate a student. If testing is the only grading method, students will be apt to “learn for the test”, or cram all of the material, spout it out at the test, and then instantly forget it all. This results in the students not really learning much at all. If testing is just a small part of a student’s grade, they are more likely to grasp the information. If paired with discussion, group work, papers, and other activities, the student is then apt to have to learn the material in order to complete the other work.
Some students just may not be good test takers. They may get nervous or just struggle and not be able to secure good grades. This instills fear and anxiety in them and makes it even more difficult to learn.
I used to have a teacher that said your test grade was the amount of material you learned. I highly disagree with that, and it would always make me angry. I could’ve learned the material, but the test was unclear. I even could have grasped much more, but just am terrible at taking tests.
Allowing a student other ways to improve their grade beyond testing is the best way to insure the material is learned. It also makes life a bit easier for the student so that they may grasp all of the material in a positive atmosphere.