Tips for Allowing Test Retakes

Students may be able to offer themselves a second shot at completing assignments and tests if the process is handled properly.

My students served as my first instructors. I used to advise them that putting in the effort does not necessarily translate into results. My advice was to work smarter rather than harder for their next writing project or test, rather than the other way around. As opposed to studying for a test, I urged them to establish goals, confer with a tutor in writing, and communicate with me about any potential challenges.

In general, this is sound advice. However, However, if I could go back in time, I would tell myself to do more to avoid students from becoming dissatisfied with their academic performance. Students frequently believe that there is no sense in attempting to succeed in a certain topic.

To avoid this, I allow students to retake the majority of their examinations. Students who miss deadlines are also given some slack in their studies. The ultimate goal in all disciplines is to achieve mastery. I am less concerned with whether or not an individual has learned an idea than I am with whether or not it has been effectively mastered.


Students in high school history and government classes are explained my retake policy during the first week of school.

  • All tasks and exams should be completed completely and accurately the first time they are given. If you have to keep up with the new work in this course and other courses while preparing for the retake, you will put yourself under more stress and burden yourself with additional work.
  • You have one week from the time I return the original to complete the retake. Make an appointment with me during a free period or come in after school to do it. If you notify me in advance, I may be able to arrange for a proctor to assist you with your examination. I’ll accompany the adult to the check-in counter.
  • Keep in mind that, even though the retake will cover the same material, I may ask you to answer questions in a different order.
  • I’m going to use the highest grade available in the online grade book.
  • You can always retake an assessment or assignment, regardless of whether or not you achieved a passing grade on the first attempt.
  • Retake restrictions do not apply to little quizzes, midterms, or final examinations, among other things.


Students can retake exams to demonstrate to me that I recognize their humanity and that we all have difficult days at work. The number of times I have carried a headache to school or had to deal with personal concerns that interfered with my ability to provide great instruction is beyond me. My pupils were kind in every situation, and I believe it is only reasonable that I reciprocate the gesture. It requires more work on my part, but the outcomes for students who retake the test are frequently better.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was the title of a recent essay written by my history students about a slave story. They investigated whether empathy may aid or hinder a better understanding of the antebellum South in the United States. While some students performed admirably, others failed to develop a systematic approach to problem-solving. Students who did not achieve success were encouraged to return to the drawing board after I shared my usual mistakes and methods for avoiding them with them in class, as well as other samples of papers. I was blown away by the bulk of the revisions, and students took my feedback to heart to produce better scholarly work in the future.

“Mr. One of my students approached me after presenting an outstanding edit and stated, “Mr. We, as well as other students, are encouraged by your retake policy to pay closer attention to your ideas and remarks.”


I was significantly affected by my conversations with Rick Wormeli (a National Board-certified teacher, author, and editor of Fair isn’t Always Equality: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom), who helped me understand the importance of late work.

The following is something he stated that I will never forget: “A child does not complete an assignment, regardless of how large the task is, and I simply give him a zero?” He doesn’t learn how to be competent. He is a complete and utter failure. Is this really what I want to leave behind? Is this what I want to leave behind? Incompetence. However, I can inform my colleagues in the broader society that he has been apprehended. I couldn’t get past the fact that I had missed a deadline. Or is it, “Hey, you screwed up, kid,” or something similar? Allow me to walk beside you and assist you in developing the skill, wisdom, and patience that comes from having done something a second or third time around.

Even though I agree with you more than anything, I have difficulty selecting whether or not to award points to students who submit assignments late. The responsibility of students, particularly those in the upper class, should be emphasized. However, I do not want their shortcomings to come in the way of our progress.

In my opinion, each case should be regarded as a unique entity. When it comes to fairness, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.