Student should be allowed to use notes on tests

Corban Hymel, Staff Writer

With the recent rise in technology and access to resources, it has become more important for students to know how to use and access the information than actually memorizing it. 

Since the 1990s and the rise of the internet, access to information of all sorts has come right to your fingertips and you can find anything in a matter of seconds. However, some teachers and schools still require students to memorize many complicated pieces of information. This raises the question of whether students, particularly high school students, should be able to have access to their notes during tests. 

First, the facts need to be broken down. Multiple studies have shown that allowing students to use notes has alleviated a lot of anxiety relating to the test. They have also found that they don’t typically affect overall scores meaning that the schools could alleviate the stress of testing without completely throwing off the testing and the scores of the tests.

Scientists have also proved that when students memorize things they seem to retain very little of the information. A study by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus showed that subjects only retained about 5 percent of something they memorized only 3 days ago. This means that memorizing information in order to prepare for a test will become useless after the test as you will begin to forget it.

Another factor is simply student preference to use notes. In a poll at a high school in Minnesota, every student said that open note tests would be useful and help lower stress levels. Many students like to have access to notes during tests and having notes helps testing go more smoothly. It would also discourage cheating among students because they would have access to similar questions and examples that would help them on the test, leading to a more positive testing environment.

Although many people will argue that it’s important for students to have to memorize the information especially if it pertains to a job they may want to have in the future, their access to resources will only increase once they are out of schooling. Most jobs do not require large amounts of memorization and instead rely on problem-solving and the application of skills rather than remembering an exact procedure. Modern access to information is so good you can find just about anything at the click of a button. Arguably, having the ability to know how to properly find, use, and digest information is what schools should be more focused on teaching in this day and age. Overall, it would be very beneficial to students to allow for notes during tests.