Should students be allowed to retake a test or rewrite an essay? A lot of educators today feel that allowing retakes benefits students in the long run. Derek Boillat recently wrote an article listing some of the most common arguments for not allowing retakes along with reasons for why those arguments just don’t hold up. We have listed the arguments and their counterpoints below:

Argument #1: They should have learned it the first time. Counterpoint: We all fail now and again.

Argument #2: Failing is a good life lesson. Counterpoint: We should be assessing knowledge and behavior separately.

Argument #3:  It will make my class too easy. Counterpoint: Don’t water down the content.

Argument #4: Where do we draw the line on retakes? Counterpoint: Allow retakes for all of your students!

Argument #5: Retakes double the amount of work to grade. Counterpoint: Make them earn it!

Argument #6: They have plenty of chances to improve their overall grade. Counterpoint: Because it’s not about the grade!

Boillat elaborates on each of these in his article. To read his article in full, just click here.

“In the end, if we are truly about learning, shouldn’t students be allowed to fix their misunderstandings in hopes of mastering the content? Isn’t mastery the goal of teaching? While it may take a shift of mindset to allow retakes, the benefit is more knowledgeable and successful students, and as a result, more successful educators. “-Derek Boillat