Paper tests going out of style


Keillor Sheehan

Darius Damian looks at his computer.

Paper tests and quizzes are decreasing in popularity as their digital counterparts become more prominent.

Digital assessments let teachers grade them easier and sometimes do it for them, however, paper tests allow students to write down their thoughts, which is sometimes needed for subjects like math.

“Digital tests are just more convenient,” said Nikitha Duraisamy, seventh-grader on the Mavericks team, “they show you what questions you’ve missed and most of the time you get your score back instantly.”

Seventy-five percent of RCMS students prefer digital tests, but 25 percent prefer paper tests, all for many different reasons.

“On paper tests I can underline things and it’s easier to understand,” Srivi said.

A question we also have to think about is which is easier for the teachers? Ms. Adams, Mavericks English teacher, answers this question.

“Paper tests are easier to make, but digital tests can be shared with other teachers,” Ms. Adams said.

Half of the people interviewed said that they think it is harder to cheat on digital than on paper tests.

“It’s probably harder to cheat on digital tests,” Nikitha said. “When you’re doing a paper test you can just use another piece of paper as a cheat sheet and it will look like it’s a part of the test.”

The other half of the people interviewed said that they think it is easier to cheat on digital tests.

“Digital tests are easier to cheat on because you can just go on other tabs,” Srivi said.

Now, back to the question, are digital tests and quizzes running out of time? No, at least according to Ms. Adams.

“I think they will always be an option for students who perform better on them,” said Ms. Adams.

Paper assessments provide students with a tactile response and are sometimes easier to use for subjects like math where you need to write things down and work problems out.

“I think most people would prefer paper tests for math but digital for reading and other subjects,” said Phoebe Shi.