As many people know, junior year is the year that students take the ACT or SAT standardized testing. However, this may be the last year that students are given the test in an actual booklet and will be able to bubble their answers into the tedious scan-trons with a number two Ticonderoga pencil. This may sound like a good thing, especially with the newly found accusations of cheating on these various tests, but this change could also very well create far more chaos and stress when trying to simply complete these tests. This idea of online testing came about due to cheating scandals, however this will not eliminate cheating, just change the ways that people are able to cheat.
For example, you can no longer go through and change incorrect answers but educators will have the ability to log into tests and view the questions, or possibly change the students answers on a computer rather than a scan-tron. Along with computer administration of these exams, students have much more access to the internet during their exam time.
With these points under consideration, it will not be mandatory for students to take their test on a computer. Students will have the option of a paper or computer test, for the time being.
It has been said by ACT research policy that there will likely always be paper and pencil forms of the exams as an accommodation for certain students with disabilities. If this is the case, and pencil and paper exams will always be available, then why fix something when it isn’t broken?
Agreeably, someone should find a way to stop the cheating scandals from occurring with such important and life changing events, but is changing the form in which the test is given actually accomplishing that? If anything added another way of administration will create more loopholes in the testing system. If even one rule is left out of the ACT policy for any form of administration, then it is perfectly okay and legal for a teacher to take a sneak peek at the exam. This in turn will surely cause more stress and fear for a students impending test scores to be returned due to the fact that, for all they know, their peer had an answer sheet taped to the inside of their calculator cover, or just simply had an answer sheet emailed to them.
“We’ve grown up doing all of our work on paper and learned to do all of our work on scratch paper with a pencil. We’re a lot more familiar reading physical copies rather than computer screens” said Junior at SGCHS Erin Dringman. Many students feel that their testing abilities may be impaired due to the fact that they will be forced to stare at and work out their problems on a screen, rather than having a scratch piece of paper and booklet to scribble on.
For now, the “old-fashioned” paper and pencil tests will still be given, at least until spring 2016. It will not be a surprise when everything is fully changed to being administered by computer and there is not an option to stick to students “old-fashioned” roots.