10/11/2011 10:25 am ET | Updated Dec 10, 2011

A Fatal Flaw in the American Education System

When we think of a challenging test, we probably recall writing an in-class essay or working though a series of complicated equations. Sadly, colleges don't base their opinions of students on either of these things; they base it on how well you play the game of multiple choice.

A multiple choice test is not an accurate indication of a student's knowledge. The fact that there are classes on "test-taking strategy" is proof of this. The only test-taking strategy should be having complete knowledge of the material, not wondering when and if you should guess. The fact that you are able to guess is a disservice to those who study because it gives unprepared test-takers an out. In studying the civil war, for example, which do you think paints a clearer picture of a student's knowledge of the subject: asking them to write an essay (with dates and examples) that explains the circumstances and setting of the war, or asking them a series of multiple choice questions that act as prompts? Eliminating multiple choice would be a huge improvement in the way we judge the intelligence and work ethic of our youth. And it would differentiate between students who understand the subject matter and those who are simply good at taking tests.