Different test versions impact scores

Valerie Ferretti, Staff Writer

We learn all throughout school not to cheat on anything, especially not tests. Yet students may not realize, that teachers can also cheat during tests.

Often teachers will make different test versions to prevent students from copying answers off of their peers. While this is a legitimate argument, changing the actual questions on tests and not just the order of the questions greatly affects test results. Say I have test version A and my friend has test version B. He/she may receive a question that I can easily answer, while my question on version A stumps me, causing my grade to be lower than if I had version B. This is mostly a problem for math tests where “just switching the numbers” doesn’t always prove an equal process.

The only fair way to give each student the same chance of success or failure, is to switch the order of questions on a test but not change up the actual problems. I understand steps must be taken to decrease cheating among students, but these steps should not include cheating among teachers.