Are Examinations a Fair Way of Testing Our Knowledge?

I believe its
NO

Because…
Examinations are, at times, good and necessary ways of testing a student’s ability to commit information to memory, to work under pressure and to find out what they know.

However, examinations must not become regular.

Regular examinations result in students working toward exams and exams only. They do not work in order to learn. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is rid of in a system where examinations reign supreme. It becomes knowledge for the sake of passing the class, receiving an “A” etc.

Whilst coursework may easily be cheated on, it is ridiculous to suggest that the only other way of testing a student’s abilities and knowledge is through examination.

Class discussions and debates are, with active class participation, one of the most effective ways of learning and retaining information. Through being forced to better one’s own views and opinions, theories and answers, the student gains a deeper insight into their own arguments, becomes better at discussing their views, and the class benefits from listening to these views and thinking about how the views of their peers compare to those of their own. Through this they can alter their own opinions or form new ones. Class participation is a necessary requirement seeing as how even if one person refuses to engage in the discussion, their own ideas are never put to the test of both the peers and their teacher, and so receive no benefit for their own beliefs, and the class also receives no benefit from that particular student. And this is just one student! Full class participation is an absolute requirement.

How do we accurately test students? We test them through what they are best at and what they are happiest with through immediate student and teacher feedback during and after classes. Weekly or monthly the parents/guardians of those students will receive report cards, showing which subjects their son/daughter is best at, and which they need the most help with. It will also be noted which classes are that child’s favourite. Parents and students must also be able to suggest ways in which their classes could be made better, so long as the suggestions are realistic, reasonable and that they contribute to the learning environment in such a way that the students learn more and at no cost to student/teacher and student/student relationships. For example, bullying must not become more common as a result of changes to the class.

Examinations should appear annually, but no more than that. If there are discrepancies between one’s examination and one’s school work, then this must be investigated, as it would be within the current system now. However, discrepencies are far less likely within this proposed framework, as all the progress and learning goes on during school hours and under the supervision and encouragement of the teacher. (This does not mean to say that kids should not be assigned homework, but the homework itself would be judged on how well the student can prove that they did it i.e., through class discussions the next day)

But if I say frankly,

There are too many flaws

Likes try to take a case in point, of mathematics class which one student takes online versus another who takes in class. Now the student in class may actually be a harder worker, smarter, an overall better student but he is challenged to the fact, that he must take the same exam as the online student, who is able to use his notes, book, and online resources. So does the exam treat the student’s fairly? Let’s look at another fact of exams, in a generalization most classes consists of 3-4 exams, each exam covering 2-3 chapters, then a compressive final covering all chapters and of course homework. Most classes go by weighted scores, such that your exams consists of 50% of grade, your final 30% of grade, and your homework 20%. Student’s put emphasis on these weighted scores, by creating priorities such that, homework is considered the bottom of the food chain. Why work on homework, when the tests are more important? When the scary realization is that homework is the tool, which provides the best way to create lasting knowledge. How do you get better at a math theory? You constantly use that math theory on dozens of problems over and over again, such as you would find on homework. However on the flip-side on a test, you memorize a theory, use it once, and forget about it. So an exam fails to create lasting knowledge, which is the whole point of classes. My final point, doesn’t necessarily point the flaw in examination but the flaw in the examiner. We’ve all had times, where a teacher would vaguely touch on subject, yet the subject becomes a big part of the test. Some teachers fail to recognize the flaws in their teaching method, as most teaching methods consist of trying to create everlasting knowledge which takes a long time, and repetition. When tests mock the fact of this by exploiting student’s who are good at the skill of learn and forget, studying what’s going to be on the test, rather than knowledge provided by the teacher, which sometimes isn’t even on the exam. To finish, I’d like to suggest alternatives tests that would better replace traditional exams. The best I feel would be oral exams, a one on one talk with the examiner as he goes through different questions, would eliminate exams problems that have weird worded question or ask vague questions, and then the examiner could full evaluate the person knowledge and ability use set knowledge in “test” sort of situation. Take home tests, are another, but cheating is an increased chance, so an implement of different tests would have to be used. The student benefits from this, for being forced to research again the knowledge that he or she has probably lost over the course. Which I think should be the true reason for a final test, a refresher on what you’ve learned. Also the final suggestion would be to lose the weighted score of tests, maybe making homework 50% of grade, 3-4 tests 7-10%, and the final test 20%, that way it gets rid of the one thought knowledge test. Because even a student who is copying answers, as long as he copies the method, he is learning something, such the same as a kid who copies theories from a book. Writing or retyping is effective way to create knowledge.

P.s this was my view, from a very personal angle. You can comment your views too:)

No offence lol😂

One Reply to “Are Examinations a Fair Way of Testing Our Knowledge?”

  1. No I definitely don’t think examinations are a way of testing our knowledge because in examinations we get a certain set of questions pre prepared. When candidates sit to give the examination sometimes it might not cover the topic we are strong at while on the other hand another person can score well in the same paper because he has more related topics which he had studied. This is no way means that the second Candidate is better than the first one because he just got the portions he has a good grip on. The first one might be just unluckily. But results would say somethings different. This is though one of the causes I think exams are not a way to judge one’s knowledge.

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