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February 27, 2008

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Nick Commons-Miller

Tests are always different than a working environment. A test is always a situation you are thrown into and given one shot to succeed at. It is an extremely high pressure system, and I would say it is relatively certain that people don't adjust to these tests even after taking one every year.

Another thing, there is no constant exposure or real opportunity for desensitization. You are talking about once a year, which is hardly enough to be desensitized.

An exam for college graduation makes no sense because people take such disparate routes in their education and also have such varied goals that a standardized test would serve as a poor method of gauging someone's education. It is possible that some or all of the areas of focus of a test have nothing to do with someone's college education. If you want to prevent this in any reasonable fashion, you have to further restrict a student's ability to choose classes. I would consider the great freedom of choice of subject matter to be one of the great advantages of a college education, and in making a standardized test one would very likely be eliminating a lot of that freedom. There is also a great opportunity for professors to teach in interesting and innovative ways. Standardized tests would also compromise this.

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