Should students be allowed extra time on tests?Should students in general be allowed extra time on tests? We are using this topic in my debate team so some ideas to why or why not would really help.

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have had several principals over the years who insisted that teachers give students as much time as they need to take tests (primarily due to parental requests). Some students even prefer to REALLY take their time and then ask to take the tests home to complete (where they can get assistance from parents, siblings, Internet, etc.). I know some students work slowly and need extra time, and I don't really have a problem with this, other than that as the teacher, I have to supervise them beyond class time. It also tends to serve as a breakdown of proper class time management. Some standardized tests are untimed, but students will face MANY timed tests in college and beyond, and they will find that most college teachers will not make exceptions for slow test-takers. In such cases, they will not be able to have their parents run interference for them, so my suggestion is to prepare properly for tests and do the best you can during the time allowed. It's great preparation for the outside world, where job requirements regularly have time restraints and where bosses won't be quite as willing as teachers to provide more time (and loss of profits) for slow-working employees.

litlady33 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It depends on what purpose the test is serving and what you are trying to assess. If the test is meant to be preparation for a bigger timed test, such as the ACT, then students should not be allowed extra time unless they have specific accommodations and will also be allowed extra time on the ACT. However, if you are testing for what the students learned, then I would say giving them extra time is necessary, because you are not testing how fast they can answer questions; you are testing what they know.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tend to agree with the above posts. If a student is working diligently on a test and cannot finish it, I think that the student should be allowed extra time. If a student is not making the most of their time (daydreaming) I would not give that student extra time. For some students, IEPs require that extra time is given. In that case, the IEP should be respected regardless of how the student uses their test time.

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you want tests to be a true reflection of what a student actually knows about a topic -as opposed to how fast they can work- then yes, students should be allowed to have plenty of time to take a test. However as #3 points out, there need to be mechanisms in place to prevent cheating. I think this is a great topic for a debate!

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tend to agree with Post 3.  I do not give students extra time unless I am required to because they have some disability.  I think that it is important to be able to work under the pressure of a deadline and I do not think that it is really helpful to students to allow them to have all the time they need.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Give them all the time they require.  The diligent students will finish and be free to do whatever they wish afterwards; the laggards will work away until they become bored.  Putting time pressure doesn't affect the first group, and stresses the already encumbered second group.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it depends on the situation, but generally I would say yes.  I think timing a test puts added pressure on the student.  Some students are slow test takers, and some get very stressed in a timed situation.  This is why many standardized tests are untimed.

cupi8114 | Student

Yes, some people are faster than others

siret | Student

There should be no extra time,given that the time provided is measured and is fair. Pressure to a certain extent can be healthy and it teaches students time management. In practical life you will never be provided with all the time in the world so time management should be learnt at an early stage.

bhawanipur | Student

I have come across three categories of students. Some take the test seriously and prepare well. They accomplish their task with satisfaction within the stipulated time. There is another group who prepare well but lazy enough to complete it in time. The last category is of students who never take seriously nor prepare well but appear in the examination as bound to. They are like parasite, dependent on others. Give them ample time, they will achieve nothing.

Our world is now fast moving. We need to compete and come out faster. Hence, we need to adjust ourselves to the various need of the today's world. We have to be able to accomplish our task in a tensed situation, achieve our goal over coming those situations. I am of the view that if we allow extra time also, it will hardly change the graph.