Suppose we were to ask any student whether they enjoy doing assignments. They will shout out a big no. The same is their response to examinations. Every child wants to play and not study. Tests have a bad reputation due to the stress they bring. At the same time, assignments are hated due to their frequency. Alas! We all know the importance of education and, therefore, must pick one of the two processes. According to a survey, students are more inclined toward determining daily writing tasks over exams. It is because when they receive help with assignments on a regular basis, they achieve a higher grade and show better learning results.
So which is better at accessing learning in students; assignments or tests? There is only one way to sort out this matter once and for all- A proper discussion considering both sides along with the opinion of scholars and what they prefer.
General Arguments and Students’ Opinions for Tests
“Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.”
Correctly pointed out by the 35th American President John F. Kennedy. Humans are built similarly, but they are so much different from each other at many levels. As the famous saying goes, if you ask a fish to climb a tree, it will fail badly. But ask it to swim, and it will pass with flying colours. Similary, not every child needs to excel at the same things. Unfortunately, the modern-day education system has made itself oblivious to these considerations. It focuses solely on syllabubs and tests irrespective of the fact that it has constantly been hampering students’ learning abilities.
Students most fear tests as they are under extreme pressure to perform well, or else they might fail and will have to repeat the class. Tests have also developed into some social status that every student has to have, without which they will be looked down upon. Several studies are showing adverse effects and anxiety induced by tests in children. They, at times, can lead to issues far more severe than academic stress. Importantly, tests leave crucial parameters like courage, etiquette, manners, bravery, friendships, etc., out of the scoring board, which, in the true sense, are the factors that show a student’s growth. Mentioned below is the table of pros and cons associated with tests, have a look:
|Source of stress and pressure
|A competitive environment
|Easy detection of teaching flaws
|Creativity skills ignored
|Sole focus on grades
|Bring anxiety and tension
General Arguments and Students’ Opinions for Assignments
“Grades don’t measure tenacity, courage, leadership, guts or whatever you want to call it. Teachers or any other persons in a position of authority should never tell anybody they will not succeed because they did not get all A’s in school.”
What Thomas J Stanely said in his quote is appropriate for the current education system. The focus these days is solely on grades and scoring higher, defeating the purpose of education altogether. Instead, students need to learn about practical life and how the world operates. Being book smart is good, but being street savvy is the need of the hour. Academic knowledge is not enough for students to survive in the dog eats-dog world. Competition is neck-deep, and what will prepare students for? Not the tests, not the regular plain old textbook learning. No sir. Students could be saved via the creative process of assignments.
Assignments bring fresh air into the dusty, old, rigid education system. Learning is necessary for students, but its path is not fixed. Learning is learning, in the end, irrespective of how it was achieved. Scientists believe there are higher and better chances of retention of knowledge when acquired through assignments instead of the traditional chalk and board method. If we have gathered anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a fact that the educational system needs to change. And the time is right about now. Look at the table below containing the benefits and drawbacks of assignments in student life.
|Improves Critical Thinking
|Little less time at hands
|Develops a sense of independence
|Higher chances of copying
|Boosts mental health by reducing stress
|Repetitive assignment topics leads to boredom
|Improves time management skills
|Enhancement of research and writing skills
The Final Verdict
After the much-needed deliberations and considering all that there was to be considered, there comes the point where no further discussions could be held. And that point has arrived in this debate of Assignments V/S Tests. Poles show that students prefer assignments over tests. And the rest is cleared by science. Many studies have shown better results in the learning abilities of students who were taught and assessed through the assignments over those who were taught with the traditional methods. Assignments have emerged as a clear winner among students, teachers, and parents. Assignments promise a better approach and a brighter future for education.