Exams

There’s one thing I’ve always hated about exams. I mean, sure, I don’t really mind doing them, and I become just a tad hyperactive if I get a really high score, but do they, in all honesty, actually indicate a student’s intelligence? This is the same thing I have against IQ tests, and all tests in general, really. They can’t be trusted to really indicate where you are in a subject. Oh sure, they can help, yes, but in a test or exam, or anything of that kind, what if the person has an off day? Surely then, it is not fair. Not to mention, some people have absolutely terrible nerves with these things – so we end up with the same problem. I’ve seen it happen before, and to some really smart, capable people, too.

And then, finally, there’s the people who think they’re doing so ridiculously well. They look at the test they’ve just completed, think “Oh my God, I aced it!” and hand it up to the teacher with a knowing kind of smirk. But then, a few days later, they get their result only to realise that they’ve done everything wrong, despite their previous work being mostly correct. I have to admit that I am one of those people in the area of maths. Perhaps this is why I have a problem with tests and exams as an accurate measure.

And here, I suppose you could quite easily say that “Well, if you can’t remember it for the test, obviously it hasn’t been reinforced in your mind properly.” This is probably partly true. However, with the above mentioned points, doesn’t it seem logical not to “test” someone in this way?

I’m in the personal opinion that getting students to do large-scale projects rather than tests is a much more accurate measure of whether or not they understand the given topic. If they don’t understand it properly and have lots of time to gather information, they can go to the teacher and ask for help so that they can even learn in the duration. Not to mention, projects are a good way to boost knowledge in the gaps that a student might have within the subject.

I have, within my years of high school education, met four or five such teachers who believe in projects rather than testing. But many others just prefer things like tests and exams and teaching students how to pass them rather than the topic at hand.

If you ask me, personally, the system is just a little backwards.

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