Are Test Retakes Really Benefitial?

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Hannah Osmann, Co- Editor in Chief

Many students relish the thought of raising their sub par test scores, as the stapled packet with red ink falls onto the desk in front of them. So often do they sit there looking at their teacher, silently pleading for them to say the precious words, “test retakes”. Retakes take a different form and place in each syllabus at the beginning of the school year, but are they what is best for students? 


Many of the Erie High School alumni find themselves attending a college the fall after graduation, but their reliance on test retakes will fail some of them. After they show up to their first exam, unprepared, and do poorly on the test, they expect a retake. One that won’t come. 


A student who does this has been failed by themselves as well as the teachers that they had previously, who without words taught them that not doing well on a test can be balanced out by a simple retake. 


In life you don’t get test retakes, and in colleges and universities you don’t either. Then why should we? Is it not the purpose of high school to prepare students to take on the world? 



Often, we hear our teachers saying that we learn from making mistakes. So what lesson are we truly learning from getting a second chance so often in the school year? Do we learn that test retakes are an expectation, and not a privilege? 


Though some people believe that retakes give students another chance to master the material. How good is this for those students? Students who struggle taking tests will find themselves unable to properly prepare the way that they need to, and their academic performance will most likely come to a screeching halt. 


They will find themselves in need of new ways to be a good student. For the students who don’t find themselves in college the same ideas apply. In college and in life you don’t always get a second chance, and the earlier you hardwire that into your brain the better. 


Test retakes allow students to procrastinate, and often sometimes cram studying into a couple of days instead of what could have been done in a couple of weeks. How often is a student sitting in class, scrolling through their phone as a teacher is giving them time to study? Could this demographic be changed if the teacher simply said that there would be no test retakes? 


Not all teachers make retaking a test too abundant or easy, many only supplying one or two a semester. Doing this provides students a way to buff their grades, while showing them not to rely on test retakes to get a passing grade in a class. What’s most important is that one learns how to prepare themselves for tests and exams so that when it comes time for the things that matter most they do their best.