last night i took my first graphic design test. 10 true/false, 5 short answer (in which you identify the principles of graphic design depicted in 5 works of commercial art).
although 70% looks substantial when you're talking about presidential approval or the amount of folic acid in breakfast cereal, it basically sucks when it comes to tests. that's what i got in the true/false section. i can't stand the true/false method of measuring what you know. why? because NOTHING IS ABSOLUTE. i learned that in basic undergraduate philosophy. true/false assumes that everything is black + white. a better way to word a true/false section is "indicate whether you think the following statement is generally true or generally false. give reasons/evidence for your answers, along with possible exceptions." you would think that, in art, a field in which innovation is imperative and an exception to the rule can result in a masterpiece, instructors would realize how restrictive true/false is.
i propose that the current test questions, which are way too simplified by using the restrictive true/false method, be replaced with critical thinking exercises that require the student to give examples, reasons, and justifications for their answers, based on what they've learned in class so far. it's a great disservice to restrict the reasoning of beginning artists, commercial or otherwise, by limiting answers to two options: true or false.