Hot Take: No One Should Get Extra Time On Tests Without A Penalty

So because I can finish a test in a pre-determined allotted amount of time I am not rewarded, but if someone is unable to, they are granted privilege. In High School I had teachers send me back to my desk saying “check your work, take this seriously”. I’ve literally had teachers get so snarky they threaten they will take off points if you want to hand a test in before the end of the period.

“I’m going to write a note on here that you handed this in first. And you’re parents will see that when I ask for them to sign it.” Not one to back down from low-risk shade I handed it in and said write the note. I remember this so well because I regretted it as soon as I got back to my seat. This ended up being a non-issue because I got an 88% and my parents knew that was the best I could do.

88% is nothing special. I’m not here to brag. I’m not that smart of a person. If I was smart I wouldn’t have handed that paper in right then. I would have just waited for someone else to hand theirs in first. But one of my biggest skills in academics is reading and comprehending a question quickly. To reiterate. I’m not saying I’m a genius. I can’t read and answer every question correctly. I can read and comprehend every question quickly. Whether I know the answer or not.

I’m not the only one like this. I know that for sure. And I believe our skill is unfairly overlooked. Being able to comprehend a question and then convey it in a simpler form, whether you know the answer or not, is a useful skill in our fast-paced world.

My gripe is not that the “disability” of these slow test takers are granted a privilege. It just doesn’t seem right that my ability to fully comprehend and take a test to my in an allotted time is not rewarded. Meanwhile, their inability to do the same is catered to.

I believe we are not being tested equally.

If someone can’t comprehend a written question or write out a responsive thought in a timely matter they are given extra time. Because it’s not fair. They have a “disability”. Fine, but why is that same logic not applied to math classes? I suck at math, why didn’t I get a calculator?

What if the ability to comprehend what is being asked of you on an exam in a timely matter is a skill rather than a normalcy?

Student A: Finishes test in allotted 50 minutes, gets 25/30 correct.

Student B: Finishes test in 80 minutes (he is allotted 90 due to his extra time), gets 29/30.

At the very least this is unfair in Physics, Chemistry, Statistics, Economics classes. Classes that require a combination of math and reading skills.

They get the test slowly read to them by a TA, question by question, many are just playing this system and have admitted that to me. (some students have mentioned to me the TA hints at the answer, whether incidental or not, this is a huge advantage).

I’m terrible at math. D’s/C’s the whole way for Physics, Chemistry, Statistics, Economics. Classes that require a combination of math and reading skills. I was never offered extra time. Probably because it was obvious that wasn’t the issue. I knew what was being asked. The problem was I didn’t know the answer. Some kids had a different skill, they knew the answer, but they didn’t know what they were being asked.

This goes through High School, the SAT’s and ACT’s, College. I don’t know the solution. I have graduated already. To my fellow number-illterate falsely accused “smart aleck” brethren, if you are still in school, hang in there. The real world will be accepting you with open arms. Trust me. Keep your wit up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to toolbar