Exit Exam Scores Should Be On Transcript

Public high school students should not be required to pass a standardized exit exam in order to receive a diploma. There are some people in our society that feel the standardized exit exam is unfair and penalizes students for not understanding the material due to poor teachers. However, although the exit exam is not designed for seventh or eighth-grade students, many could pass it without difficulty. If a high school student is unable to pass the test, then perhaps they shouldn’t receive their diploma. So, why do we not just remove high school from the equation and start testing middle school students on the material and see if they qualify for diplomas? If they aren’t being tested on high school material, then isn’t high school somewhat pointless? Well, there is more to high school than just learning. High school is an experience that is meant to prepare students for the real world socially and academically. I am not saying that exams are perfect, I’m saying quite the opposite. The exit exams have some flaws that need to be changed. One way of making the exit exam more beneficial would be to add the scores received on the test to the diploma or transcript. This would motivate students to do well on the exam instead of doing the bare minimum to pass it. Also, this would add accountability to teachers who inadequately teach students the material, causing them to fail the test as a result. By having this requirement in place, students also would be motivated to do well on the exam. Without a requirement, what motivation is there for students to do well on the test at all? Sure, some students wouldn’t receive their diploma, but should they receive it for not being able to understand basic material? Let’s not forget that students have several opportunities to retake the test if they fail it. On the other hand, some students would be pushed by their schools and teachers to work hard to pass the test after failing. In theory, students would work hard and would come to find if they apply themselves and develop a work ethic, they can achieve their goals. If students fail it after studying for the exam, then perhaps they truly shouldn’t have a diploma and should try for a general education degree instead. After all, diplomas are not something that should be received by anyone. They represent an education. A diploma isn’t candy that is handed out to everyone so no one gets his or her feelings hurt and feels left out. In fact, the exit exam’s standards should be raised. Students should be tested on high school knowledge questions. So, removing the requirement decreases the value of a diploma and it becomes somewhat meaningless. Having a requirement in place means that some students work harder to pass the test. Adding a score on the exit exam gives feedback and allows students to learn what they got wrong and hold teachers accountable for improper teaching. In no way is the exit exam perfect, but the benefits it contributes are worthwhile.