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Writing versus Testing

The benefits of Writing

May 25, 2018

I went to a small private school for the majority of my life. Now, as a sophomore, I’m here at Cy Woods.

Lots of things are different between the two schools, but the most predominate change was in my English class. At my old school, I received major grades on essays. These essays were not like the timed writings we have here – these were papers I wrote about the books I read in class. These were papers I could spend a week or two on to get everything the way I wanted. These were papers that had three well-though-out points to support what I was talking about. Here at Woods, it seems like most of our major grades in English are from the tests we take. But which is better?

When I surveyed some of my friends about this topic, the results were interesting, but not surprising. It’s all about what people knew and were used to: the students from my old school said they would rather write papers, while most of the students from public school said they would rather choose testing. But regardless of which medium students prefer, the benefits of writing are something schools should explore.

One of the reasons why writing is so important is because it allows the author to remember what they write about. When taking tests, most students forget all the information they learned after they’re done. According to DrHealthBenefits, a website dedicated to explaining how different things affect health, writing helps extend memory. Being able to remember details can be extremely important for grades, and communication. Whether in or out of school, the ability to remember and express coherent thoughts is important. And writing can help with that.

Writing also lets people express themselves in a number of different ways. PsychologyToday talks about how people can come to terms with issues through the outlet of writing. Creative people can develop stories. Persuasive people can craft arguments. If historians didn’t preserve history through writing, today we would be living in a much different world. And while each of these instances are expressions of people, they all follow a structure, no matter how loose it may be. And the easiest place to learn this structure is in the classroom.

When I first started writing essays, I wasn’t very good. But, with time, I was able to grow in this skill and become fairly well-versed. While it takes time, the more people write, the better they become. In high school, that’s an important skill to obtain. While some colleges require it, many have an optional essay that can be submitted with an application. For people who don’t have much experience with writing, it can be a challenge for them to craft something they feel, is worth submitting. If we were to write regularly, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

For some students, writing will seem like a much bigger hurdle than taking a test. And if testing was all I’d ever known, it would have been for me too. But having been through both, I can easily say that writing is the way to go. With tests, sometimes people freeze up or are not able to remember anything they’ve learned. With writing, people have the opportunity to showcase what their take-away was. Writing is a skill that needs to be appreciated more in and out of the classroom.

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