“Tests Make Kids Smarter. Let's Give Them More.”

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Ezekiel J. Emanuel, author of the journal article “Tests Make Kids Smarter. Let’s Give Them More.” discusses the effect testing has on students. Ezekiel Emanuel begins his argument with the claim, standardized exams seem to encourage more cheating than learning. He explains that information today is more easily and accurately Googled than mentally recalled, resulting in memorization and the popular idea that testing is obsolete. Emanuel also states that “in the act of measuring students, you can actually affect how much knowledge they absorb and how well they retain it. (Emanuel, 2013)” In other words, Emanuel clarifies that it is not the testing that is crippling the students, it’s the way students are being tested. It is the effect of not using the right kind of assessments. Emanuel illuminates the notion that “frequent, short tests can actually yield big educational benefits. (Emanuel, 2013)”; this known as the testing effect. Emanuel also demonstrates that the key to the testing effect is timing. The sooner a student is tested after encountering new material, the better chance of retention. He relates this to the common phrase “use it or lose it.” In addition to this, Emanuel presents an experiment which helps demonstrate his point. In the experiment three groups of high school students were given reading passages to study. The first group only reviewed the material once. The second group studied the material twice and the third group received an initial test on what they just read. Two weeks later, the students in all three groups were given an identical test. As the result, the students who reviewed the material once scored lowest, the students who studied the material two times scored the second highest, and the group wh...

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...hese parents? Although, students are aware of the testing effect, the thought of testing, say every week, still causes the moaning and negative attitudes from students. No one wants to have to constantly worry about an upcoming quiz. So, would this effect that “pushover” teacher who hates to be hated by their students? The great educational benefits resulting from these frequent short test should be reason enough to implement a nationwide policy. Yet the US Department of Education has yet to recognize this, and put it into effect. Is this due to the time restraints teachers have? Or is it a money issue? Could it be because of the negative stigma surrounding testing today?

Works Cited

Emanuel, E. (2013). Tests make kids smarter. let's give them more. New Republic, Retrieved from
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