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Are Exams Necessary? (21-04-2009)
There’s something no student wants to face at the end of each semester. It’s obvious. Almost all schools assess students by means of examinations. Almost everyone would agree that exams are stressful. Exams cause a great deal of fear and many students do worse in exams than in other forms of assessment. Of course many argue that exams are a great form of training for later life when success depends on dealing with a variety of stresses. So, here’s the question. “Are exams necessary?”

First Statement:
Exams test memory more than analysis, creativity, or real understanding. If you have a good memory, you can get away with doing very little work throughout the course and still get very good grades.

Coursework is a much more genuine assessment of a candidate because it takes into account research, understanding of the issues and ability to express oneself, not just ability to answer a question in a very limited period of time.

Second Statement:
Some students have breakdowns and, in extreme cases, attempt suicide because they cannot handle the pressure, especially with university placement relying on grades.

As well as causing personal problems, pressure can lead many bright students to under-perform. Exams test your ability to keep your cool more than they test your intelligence. Examination results depend on the opinion of the individual examiner. The same paper marked by two different examiners could get completely different results. This is exacerbated by the short time that examiners spend marking a paper.

First Statement:
Things such as open book exams, and questions which ask you to evaluate information are not merely testing memory, but your ability to apply your knowledge.

Coursework is valuable but should be used in conjunction with exams. A student might answer a question very well given time and help from teachers, family and textbooks, but then be unable to apply what they have learnt to another question coming from a different angle.

Coursework can involve a lot of pressure as well, especially with the meetng of deadlines. Schools should, and do, teach pupils about relaxation and stress-management for both exams and coursework.

Second Statement:
Pressure is a fact of life and children must be prepared for it. Pressure only increases at university and in the workplace and we must teach children how to perform well in these conditions rather than protect them from them.

Coursework must also be marked by individuals, so the same criticism applies. It is not significant however, as moderation and examiners meetings ensure that papers are marked to the same standards.
Category: My articles | Added by: Admin (2009-07-23)
Views: 231 | Rating: 0.0/0
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