The Instigator
TheHitchslap
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
mostlogical
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Exams Ought to be Abolished from the Education System

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
TheHitchslap
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,072 times Debate No: 75958
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (22)
Votes (8)

 

TheHitchslap

Pro

This argument will be about abolishing exams in a given education system.

Standard DDO conduct applies.

First round is for acceptance only.
mostlogical

Con

I accept, and will argue why exams should not be abolished.

I look forward to your arguments, thanks
Debate Round No. 1
TheHitchslap

Pro


Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate. I look forward to an intellectually stimulating exercise, and one that is happily non-partisan in nature!



Dear DDOians, we've all been there haven't we? Either in High school or University, the anxious moment of walking into class, and not having any idea what can be in front of you...I think we all know what the nature of the exam is like. Something I think we can all connect with very easily!



C1: Exams Exasperate Mental Health Issues



My first argument is straight forward. Exams ought to be abolished as they torment the very minds it seeks to evaluate in the first place. Every year from High Schoolers to University members, charities, the University medical services themselves become flooded with students. The students often already have depression or anxiety for instance, and have added difficulty in studying. Its completely unfair. Some students don't even have any mental health issues, will develop them. For instance, a student with family stresses, work stresses, and school stresses, doing an exam can be the final straw that breaks the camels back. The overall goal of academic institutions is to educate the populace, and because exams damage students instead of enhancing their critical analysis, I think this is grounds for removal.



Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk...



C2: Exams Do Not Actually Show Intelligence



Exams are utilized to show pure information recall in a given point and time, that point and time being when the exam is, and what the professor, or teacher opts to place on the exam. Unfortunately, this doesn't actually show how intelligent the said student is, only how excellent their memory is. Worse yet, is that the questions are subject to what the Professor or Teacher deems important to the course to be on the exam. If a student finds something else about the course interesting, and remembers that information over what the head of the class deemed important, its actually worse for the student. It makes them look like they've learned nothing, when in actuality they have. This is a frequent issue, as sometimes students will complain and appeal exams on the basis of material not even being taken up in class. Combine this argument with C1, and clearly exams at best only test how the student keeps their cool. If one can even say that.



Source: http://www.ascd.org...



C3: The Same Exam Could Have Different Marks



In a lot of cases, the exams are not marked by professors. Which can lead to some serious issues. For instance, if a grader is in a bad mood, and is marking essay exams, they might not actually give as many marks as is deserved, or vice-verse. Personally, I've been though this in my economics course in University. I noticed my grader didn't add the total marks right, and brought it into the professor to adjust the mark, instead of getting an additional bonus mark, she remarked the whole thing and my exam netted 10 more marks. These are not small discrepancies, and this is not the only time this has happened, it happens to thousands of students every year, which highlights how ineffective exams are. How are professors and teachers suppose to agree on what a student knows, when they cannot even agree among themselves what is worthy of 1,2, or 3 marks? The answer is they cannot.



Source: http://harvardmagazine.com...



C4: Essays Are Much Better Tools of Evaluation



With an essay, organizational skills, critical thinking, time management, research, spelling, and grammar skills are utilized within the work. The Professor/Teacher can make a much better evaluation of a students' skills within that paper than on an exam. Because students can ask their teachers/professors for help during their completing of the assignment, it leaves much less room for error on behalf of the student, but the student can work on their skills while completing the job (the professor can show them how to do research if need be). This cannot happen in an exam. The nature of an exam would require giving away an answer which defiles its very purpose should one of these skills be lacking in the student. The exam does not always utilize critical thinking, and it is a poor judge of time management skills (especially if the professor made the exam time and size impossible to complete, which often happens). With students on an exam, cramming is a common study method with little avail.



Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk...



C5: Cheating



Lastly, exams can be cheated on. If someone plagiarizes an essay for instance, or falsifies a lab report, the methodology of the lab, and turnitin.com can detect if something is amiss. It is much easier to cheat on an exam and get away with it than it is an essay for instance, enhancing academic integrity.



Upon asking students themselves, one paper points out that 59% of students cheated on an exam once, and 39% were repeaters cheating more than once. Compare this to essays, in which only 33% would cheat comparatively. Sure, cheating will always be an issue insofar that assignments will always be given, but if this simple solution enhances academic integrity just a little more, then its silly to continue with exams, and instead we should implement other assignments.



Source: https://charactercounts.org...



Thank you!



Over to my opponent.


mostlogical

Con

Thank you for outlining your case, I too look forward to a great debate.

I can understand why you feel that exams should be abolished (removed) and replaced with coursework, let's face it they are no fun unless you are doing multiple choice exams where you know you have plenty of time and there is a chance of being lucky. For exams to be abolished, exams must: a) benefit nobody. b) be a better alternative. This is what I believe anyway.

Lets examine your points and enlarge your arguments

R1 "Exams Exasperate Mental Health Issues"

Here you are saying that exams cause stress and other problems, when actually it is people's attitude towards them. Should exams be abolished simply because people don't know how to deal with them? I think that handling stress is an important life lesson, it's a shame that teachers and parents don't help pupils enough, more can be done. Grading is what causes the stress pupils experience but only when pupils think the grades are not for their own benefit, and mistakenly think that their teachers are keeping a record of their grades in a closet.

Exams should not be confused with tests. An exam is a formal test of knowledge and ability whereas a test is a short examination which cannot change your life or anything unlike an exam where your grades can allow you to study in the university of your choice, and get a higher salary. No-one worries about tests. However they do worry about exams. At what point do pupils begin to worry? Considering many leave their revision to the last couple of weeks I'd say that major exams like SAT's and G.C.S.E.s which are compulsory (and thus most stressful) do not cause mental health problems.

R2 "Exams Do Not Actually Show Intelligence"

I agree that exams are largely a memory test, the education system should be changed, but you'd have to be extremely lucky to only get the questions you want if you haven't learnt very much, therefore a students success rests on learning questions they might not get in an exam. Every topic is important because it is equally likely to show up (unless given hints by teachers who have seen previous papers).

Let's suppose a student learns a whole new branch of maths which hasn't been taught in his lessons, this is unlikely by the way, and as a result he receives a poor grade, this grade reflects his attitude. Employers often need to employ people who listen, and do what they are told, and are willing to do things that are dull and repetitive because they are essential. Good grades show a persons quality whether or not their knowledge of subjects is needed, and the simple things taught at school often are but some aren't. If you know your stuff you have nothing to worry about so won't panic.

I've had a physics paper once and failed because none of it was taught, however I like the rest of my class were given a second paper about 6 months later. So problems like you mention can be easily fixed without having to abolish exams.

R3 "The Same Exam Could Have Different Marks"

People have the right to have test papers remarked if they do not believe they have received the grade they should, they will know this based on the grades of their homework.

R4 "Essays Are Much Better Tools of Evaluation"

This is your alternative to exams. While many skills are needed for assignments as you have kindly pointed out, it is easy for students to get help from friends and family, or their home computer, and so what they write down they may not understand. An exam is a much better way to test someone's understanding of a subject.

The best way to remember something and students need to remember a lot! is to experience it, or use imagination to understand it. Learning by rote is not very effective, people who choose this method will usually get low grades. Provided students pay attention, make good notes, read revision guides etc, their skill will not be lacking in any way.

R5 "Cheating"

I have read your source, and the figures used show the number of people who cheat in tests, not exams. It is easy to cheat in a test because you are usually beside someone who is likely to be your friend and who will make it easier for you to cheat. In an exam you will have your own desk, be situated in a more random fashion, be asked to leave your bags and coasts behind, have a lot more people monitoring you to check you are not cheating etc.

To sum up

Exams do not need to be scrapped because a simple solution exists to solve any problems associated with them, in the case of stress, overcoming this is beneficial. If exams were abolished it would be less important to understand a subject, and employers would have a harder time to find the right candidates. So exams then should not be abolished.

I look forward to your counter arguments, thanks
Debate Round No. 2
TheHitchslap

Pro


Thank you to my opponent for his case!



R1: Attitudes to Exams



My opponent says the problem with exam stress isn't the stress of the exam itself, but rather the attitudes of students towards exams.



This fundamentally ignores the fact that exams frequently results in suicides, and to those who already have anxiety and depression, they are fundamentally disadvantaged even before having walked into the room. The nature of the exam by design is to place a person on the spot and recall information with no assistance.



With an essay, or a presentation, the stress is still there, but it is to a much lesser extent because the person isn't relying strictly on memory. The stress can be alleviated by practising the presentation, or doing research on an essay. For exams, this isn't possible.


Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk...



My opponent plays semantics, tests are exams. Although they are “less important” forms of examination, they are still a point of examination that still only tests memory over actual critical faculties.



R2: Re-Testing



My opponent then concedes that on occasion exams don't even test the material given in lecture.



As for his “re-testing” clause. The problem is that it takes up time and resources to fix a given issue that shouldn't have happened in the first place.



When one considers that these exams only tests materials that isn’t necessarily on it, and makes professors have to redo work they shouldn't have to, this is a case of abolishing exams instead of keeping them.



Businesses frequently complain that instead of exams, presentations would be much better replacement, especially because it teaches something that is actually useful and frequently required in the real world. At no point in someones career will they have to answer a multiple choice exam or face losing their jobs. However, jobs frequently require the use of Microsoft PowerPoint as a skill, for instance, which would mean presentation skills needs to be more emphasized in school.


Sources: http://www.markedbyteachers.com...



R3: Differing Marks



My opponent claims that sometimes marks can be contested. Which is true, but this isn't always an option. In some cases a veto means taking the risk of losing marks, so students might not always take it up.



Furthermore, the issue gets worse if someone “bell curves” the marks in order to satisfy class averages to distribute marks. If my exam is bell curved, and I feel as though someone marked it wrong, I would lose marks. Highly unfair. And because marks can be bell curved, whats the point in an exam then in the first place if they're artificially raised or lowered?


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org...



R4: Alternatives



Essays are not the only alternative. Presentations, group work, and several others can be utilized as well, all of which are far more pragmatic.



Furthermore, getting assistance does not mean necessarily that someone “doesn't understand the work”. If I am writing an essay on prostitution, and I cannot spell “sex worker” correctly, I can still get “assistance” while still showing my intelligence on the subject.



R5: Cheating



Tests are exams, they're the same thing, with the only difference being how much it is weighted.



Even if you do not agree with me on that, the problem with my opponents case is he is playing semantics, without critiquing the fact that students under heavy stress will cheat. This isn't possible to the same extent as an essay, presentation, or group work.



Even in the sources itself, the methods of cheating still account for leaving bags at the door. One even went so far as to reprint a Coke label to cheat, with the answers on it.



Summary



The stress of exams means suicide for some. In one video you can see someone hop out of a window killing himself as a result (see: https://www.youtube.com...) Even if it doesn't, it puts those with anxiety and depression at a disadvantage.



Bell curving marks continues to circumvent the purpose of exams in the first place.



And even with the precautions taken, students can still find clever ways to cheat (http://www.wikihow.com...)



Thank you! Over to my opponent.


mostlogical

Con

Thank you for providing a lot of arguments again, we should both have strong points when we come to the concluding round.

China forces children to do 9 hour examinations, unsurprisingly this had lead to students committing suicide. The expectations on Chinese children are much higher, such exams cause a huge amount of stress. Thankfully exams in the U.K. typically last an hour or two, and there is often time to do some last minute revision before the next one. Sadly students in Britain have also killed their self due to the feelings of depression, hopelessness and fear of failure before taking their exams, or as a result of failing an exam.

A huge number of students (over 140,000) aged 16 -18 are taking psychiatric drugs such as Prozac to inflate their resuts. [1] This shows that students are not adequately taught how to deal with stress, and are being given excessive amounts of homework which is all graded, supposedly for their benefit, however student don't feel grades are for them because they can't possibly try their best unless they sacrifice all their free time. The lesson many learn is to do the bare minimum, those who don't will probably not have friends to support them.

[1] https://www.wsws.org...

Exams only test what is taught in lessons, unless you are doing higher education. Provided students listen and understand what is being taught, they have nothing to worry about. Teachers are happy to help their students understand things in class and after class, but at the age of 16 they are expected to do research, and will be aware of this. Also teachers often tell their students when they should start their revising so they don't start too early or too late, which reduces stress.

The reason students may dread exams more than coursework is because an exam is worth a greater percentage of the final grade. If this is the only reason why students are stressed by them it could be better to have more exams, spread out, and make each worth a low percentage like with coursework.

Abolishing exams will cause more students to pay less attention in class, become inconsiderate, and ultimately lead to them wasting their time and not being able to handle whatever life throws at them later in life.

It is unrealistic to expect students to learn things they have not heard of. The physics paper I had to retake was due to there being questions regarding things that I wasn't made aware of in class. This issue has only happened once to me, and was fixed quickly. Mistakes can and will always happen whether there are exams or not, it is how they are dealt with that matter, and mine were dealt with very well.

Many companies like Argos want employees to work well in a group, and will choose candidates based on how well they perform in group tasks after passing an initial interview. It would make sense to make "presentation skills" a G.C.S.E. there is no need to abolish exams.

Assessing students relative to their peers ensures a balanced distribution of academic results. It seems like a good system to me but even if it isn't I'm not sure how this supports your argument because a different grading system could be used - exams do not need to be abolished for this reason.

Coursework, group work, presentations all have their merits, and often involve researching new material. Exams test more basic knowledge, this is equally important. Without a basic understanding it will be harder to understand more complex things. Exams encourage students to grasp this basic knowledge.

I drew your attention to the difference between tests and exams because a source you used, used the word "test" instead of "exam" which was misleading. The true number of people cheating in exams is just 0.03% [2]. In classroom tests where it possible to sit beside friends, the number of people cheating will be significantly higher i.e. the figure you quoted.

[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

When students cheat on coursework they may pay a company to do their essay for them, bully someone into doing it for them or put pressure on friends to give too much assistance to play longer and end up getting them into trouble. Various methods can be used to cheat in exams; these cheaters won't harm anyone, and would at least make good notes.

This doesn't mean we should only have exams. Coursework is essential because it allows students to think, research, and learn at a higher level. Exams are necessary but for different reasons namely to grasp the basics needed to understand more complicated things. Abolishing exams will have a negative impact.

Many thanks for reading
Debate Round No. 3
TheHitchslap

Pro

TheHitchslap forfeited this round.
mostlogical

Con

mostlogical forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
TheHitchslap

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for a wonderful debate!

R1: China/UK

My opponent agrees that exam stress here is resulting in a lot of problems for students.

R2: Structure of Exams

I agree to an extent that the grading scheme needs to be altered to better accommodate student stresses as a result of rigorous intellectual regime.

However, where I disagree is the nature of the exam itself, which again forces students to be on the spot, come up with pure information recall as fast as possible, and then explain it as fast as one can on paper. Because of the nature of the exam, even if it was worth less of a % of the whole class mark, it still makes sense to abolish it. The nature of the exam even at 10% still puts undue stress on students when it isn't needed. Unlike an essay where someone can ask for help.

R3: Ramifications of Abolition

I disagree with students getting unruly because of exams. Students still get unruly even with the exam coming up. Tis the nature of being an immature student. However, plenty of courses in university do not have exams, and students are not rudely interrupting all the time. Even if a student was rude, the professor or teacher can kick that person out of the class, and continue on with their day.
Source: https://www.youtube.com...
https://www.youtube.com...

R4: Bell Curving

Because the marks can be artificially inflated or deflated with an exam to give an even distribution on the marks, it means that the exam results are not fair. The whole point of the exam is nullified as a result.
Source: http://study.com...

R5: Cheating, and Other Coursework

I do not deny that students are going to cheat on other assignments as well. I agree, they probably will. However, I contest to what extent students will cheat on an essay versus something like an exam, whereas I think an essay is going to have less cheating than exams. Ergo, essays would still be a better assignment.

And given for the reasons posted earlier, I believe exams ought to be abolished.

Many thanks to my opponent for the debate, and his understanding of my FF!

Cheers guys!
mostlogical

Con

It has been a pleasure debating with you, you've made some excellent and interesting points, thanks.

1. China/U.K.

There is no doubt that abolishing exams will reduce stress, and possibly eliminate teen suicides, but I don't think it is the right solution.

Homework could be abolished at one of Britain's most prestigious schools to combat teenage depression [1]. This makes a lot of sense because homework doesn't actually help students. Homework is unlike coursework, as it's based on what is taught in class, and doesn't count toward the final grade, so students will feel **unnecessarily tested** especially when given excessive amounts which are compulsively graded.

[1] http://news.sky.com...

Exams are necessary, so some stress should be expected. A lot more is done to prevent exam stress than stress from homework e.g. teachers tell students when to begin revising, what they need to know, and will give them a mock exam a year earlier to prepare them etc. For this reason I think that people who take psychiatric drugs before exams, do because homework has damaged their confidence.

2. Structure of Exam

Exams help students to find ways to learn new things by consolidating notes, doing role play etc, this can help later in life when they need to pass higher level exams or the driving theory test. There is usually an adequate amount of time given to complete exams, even in Maths, but there are some papers like English Literature where you may have to write a story quickly or give a detailed explanation, these should be coursework.

Spreading exams out and giving them less weight was just an idea I had to reduce stress, in practice it would probably cause students to learn that rote learning is the only method they need.

3. Ramifications of Abolition

Employers are more interested in someone with a low A-level than someone with a high G.C.S.E grade. Therefore coursework should ideally be worth more due to reflecting greater knowledge. However at school, exams have to be worth more due to the amount of time spent in class. The stuff taught in lessons may seem basic but it is the foundation to learning, thus most important. It is important therefore that students feel it is important by testing them on this knowledge so they don't become unruly.

4. Bell Curving

Exam papers change every year, they can be harder or easier, the fairest way to reflect someone's ability in my opinion is by grading on a curve.

5. Cheating

It is difficult to cheat in an exam. Even if you were going to cheat in an exam it would only be practical to record small things like facts and equations. An understanding of them, and how to apply equations etc is still needed, whereas if you were to cheat in coursework e.g. by having someone do it for you, you wouldn't need to understand anything, which is clearly worse. However both exams and coursework are needed to minimize cheating.

The purpose of school is to give students the best education, and I think that exams help with this. Please vote, and leave your comments, many thanks, and thanks again to my opponent.

Kirk
Debate Round No. 5
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (1 of 4)---
First I'd like to thank both debaters, for using proper labeling to make each argument so easy to follow. I am going to conduct a style experiment, I am reading a lot deeper than the material I am quoting, but those quotes really stick out when contrasted against each other (I wish I could color code those).

S&G: I saw errors, but none bad enough to distract me from the arguments put forward.

Conduct: Both missed a round.

Arguments: Difficult choice. Pro offered superior performance, but a very high BoP to meet as it calls for a large charge to a massive system (with the upper and lower limits of the education level are undefined). The difference between tests and exams, does show the importance of clear R1 definitions (also if final examination were hands on, take home, oral, etc., would that be inside or outside the scope of exams as it relates to this debate?). The difficulty of the change did however not become a point of the debate. Suicide was the driving force of it, with the great harm compared to lower returns offered by said exams. Students shown witnessing suicides, seem to heighten the problem and harm their grades, in an obviously self-feeding cycle. I do understand the thrust of con's points, especially the value in overcoming stress, however this was too brief to make a significant impact against pro's case.

Sources: Easily pro, who gave a decent one for each of his main contentions; and literally showed a suicide. Whereas con had far fewer, one was clearly more in support of pro's reasoning; and while on the right track with his attempts at rebutting a couple of them, it was not enough to bring this back into the tied range.

Agreed with after: Deep thinking caused by this debate, leaves me in stronger support of the presence of exams, but such isn't a scored part of the debate.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (2 of 4)---
Mental Health: "torment the very minds it seeks to evaluate" but "handling stress is an important life lesson," well consider that "exams frequently results in suicides" (including a picture of those anti-suicide barriers, would have been great). Yeah in "China [which] forces children to do 9 hour examinations" unlike the "students in Britain have also killed their self" (those last two were from con along with the next one, as for the source" it's good to show you're not just making an assertion, but even a glance at the title should tell you it's more helpful to pro's case than your own). "possibly eliminate teen suicides," (as awkward as that was, I did read past it, it's just too powerful a statement to forget).

Show Intelligence: only "show pure information recall in a given point and time" true but consider that "Employers often need to employ people who listen, and do what they are told, and are willing to do things that are dull and repetitive because they are essential." Yeah but "Businesses frequently complain that instead of exams, presentations would be much better replacement, especially because it teaches something that is actually useful and frequently required in the real world" (I found the markedbyteachers source to be non-credible, it could have even been written by pro and we'd have no way to know).

Different Marks: "In a lot of cases, the exams are not marked by professors " if a grader is in a bad mood," etc, and countered with the simple "People have the right to have test papers remarked." Not always an option and consider "issue gets worse if someone 'bell curves' the marks" which "ensures a balanced distribution of academic results," which is "not fair. The whole point of the exam is nullified as a result." No it's "the fairest way." It really does seem to help with the problem of moody graders.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (3 of 4)---
Essays: Con's first counter to this captures pro's point pretty well "While many skills are needed for assignments as you have kindly pointed out, it is easy for students to get help from friends and family, or their home computer, and so what they write down they may not understand. An exam is a much better way to test someone's understanding of a subject" (also served as a great tie-in for the cheating, which this one merged with).

Cheating: Some arguments over if exams and tests should be the same thing, a little about which ones students are more likely to cheat on" One thing that tied to the central theme of this argument was from con "When students cheat on coursework they may pay a company to do their essay for them, bully someone into doing it for them " these cheaters won't harm anyone" (I know you were not saying bullying is harmless, rather that it's harmful in normal circumstances but not on exams; however in future please make these points a little more clearly separate).
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (4 of 4)---
Notes" These are not factored into my vote. I know some people hate the idea of feedback and reactions, but I have an active brain free of hallucinations. I could pretend that the debaters did such a poor job as to not make me think about the topic, but I suspect such coddling would be worse for them in the long run.

Joke: Well pro hasn't proven that suicide is worse than not suicide, so they haven't met their BoP.

Powerpoint: I would be very curious how many deaths are caused by it per year, I know from personal experience that it's connected to some of the military suicides

Bell Curve: Pro could have carried home the bell curve by reminding the audience that it makes students helping each other potentially harmful to their own grades. I personally walked out of a class the first day when the teacher explained how he uses it because he got bad grades, and so most of us should as well (the very idea of exactly two people getting an A, and two people automatically getting F's").

Exams: Ok right at the start of this, my eyes went up to the different marks problem, which is so much more prevalent on papers.

Essays: Am I the only one who has a lot of essays as a part of exams?

Overcoming stress: Con, I suggest next time focusing heavily on this area. Outright make it a contention against the resolution, rather than just a sub-point in a rebuttal.
Posted by 9spaceking 1 year ago
9spaceking
I am not elegible to vote on this debate
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
(apologies in advance for any errors, I am drinking to sleep right now, before I go out drinking later tonight... And yes I've told others not to DDO when drunk, but it is a double standard, I've debated drunk to even things up before)

A casual glance at the votes (not actually reading them, just glancing) shows what I love about the 7point system, and yet also why others call it various curse words. You know, how dare people be conflicted and give the person they're voting against credit for superior performance where they think credit is due.

In R1: I really like the shorthand setup, "This argument will be about abolishing exams in a given education system." It's like saying 'here's what the point of this debate it, don't pull semantics, instead argue about the point, you're smart enough it doesn't need to be spelled out for you.

R2: "Dear DDOians, we've all been there haven't we?..." Nice opening rhetoric. The five contentions that follow, were full of very nice rhetoric and pathos appeals (I hope no one here is retarded enough to think calling something what it is to be an insult, I actually really like them, I just call them what they are). I have a project to complete for my internship, but I will likely come back to finish reading this.
Posted by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
C5: Cheating

Pro makes a case by saying that students often cheat when writing exams. This itself, isn"t a good point, but Pro brings up another point, which he should have brought in C4. When essays are submitted, often times the essay can be verified by sources to make sure that plagiarism didn"t occur. This can be done using software such as turnitin. Con doesn"t really refute this, but goes on to contest that tests aren"t exams. This is not true, because a test is just another synonym of exam, and both serve the same purpose. The only difference is exams are likely are worth a larger % of your final mark. Pro explains this in his rebutall. Con come back with a counter argument, by saying only 0.003% are caught cheating. Keep in mind, this number is only the number of people "caught" many more may have been cheating in the exam, and the article itself states that there was 6 percent increase. With essays, the chance of cheating is decreased because you can use software to catch the cheaters, where as for exams you need people to catch other students. Humans however, are not perfect all the time, and using software is more efficient.

Winner: Pro
Posted by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
C4: Essays Are Much Better Tools of Evaluation

C4 is very similar to what C2 told us. Pro is saying that exams aren"t an effective way of demonstrating knowledge and essays are a better tool, because exams often don"t require critical thinking. Pro makes a big mistake here. He doesn"t specify what kind of essay he is talking about. You could have an in class essay, or an essay which you could work on at home. Con refutes exactly this. He says students could get help from other sources, and when that occurs, it no longer is the thinking of the student.
Pro even concedes this in the later round, and says cheating can also occur in essays. Pro didn't explain why a student would likely cheat more in an exam than an essay, so I have to consider that point void.

Winner: Con
Posted by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
C3: The Same Exam Could Have Different Marks

Pro"s case isn"t very convincing here. He basically is saying we should abolish exams because there is a chance the markers might not be in a good mood. This may as well apply to any assessment, and isn"t a good reason to abolishing exams. However, Con never refuted using this argument, and went on to say that students can ask for the exam to be rechecked. Pro"s then came back by saying this option isn"t always reliable, which I verified to be true.

Pro wins here because Con did not effectively refute his arguments.

Winner: Pro.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
Btw, if either of you have questions about the RFD, you can ask them here.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
TheHitchslapmostlogicalTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 1 year ago
1Historygenius
TheHitchslapmostlogicalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think Pro's arguments on mental illness and that they do not show intelligence are his important arguments to the case. These are one I feel Con did not refute well. Good job to Pro for checking stress. Pro's strong evidence really helped him on these points and I felt his sources were of higher quality than Con's. The arguments on cheating, while interesting in my opinion, weren't even really refuted by Con as he offered no evidence at all. I might be difficult to cheap, but not impossible. I thought the alternative argument for essays was important, but not decisive and was fought to a draw. Curves and marks can change, but there is a possibility that all curves can be the same. However, I didn't feel that Pro argued well on if this could would be unlikely.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
TheHitchslapmostlogicalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: C1:Con C2:Pro C3:Pro C4:Con C5:Pro Pro wins 3-2. RFD in the comments. All other factors (sources, grammar, conduct) were tied.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
TheHitchslapmostlogicalTied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Given here: http://www.debate.org/forums/education/topic/69807/. Note: I've decided after some extra thought to award conduct to Con (I didn't realize his forfeit was to equalize the number of rounds). I've also decided to award Pro sources. Con just didn't support enough of his argumentation, and he's basically winning this debate on an unwarranted assertion. I feel the need to express that in way, and this is the best I can find.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
TheHitchslapmostlogicalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think Pro wins the mental illness point. It seems to be proven that exams are related to mental illness, though Con argues it is because of student attitudes. Even if it was, I don't see how it helps his point. But Pro gave evidence showing causation, including how test results (and not just the test taking itself) can exacerbate mental problems. This is a huge point and enough to vote pro, tbh. For con, he says he would say that grading on a curve is the fairest way to grade, but Pro's arguments (that grading is always somewhat arbitrary, and that curves are even moreso) pretty much shows that exams are not fair. Pro's C2 was pretty weak--exams do not have to show intelligence to be worthwhile--and Con handled it pretty well by showing that abolishing tests may not be the best solution. Con's arguments against cheating were weak. Sure, you can cheat on an exam, but pro offered evidence that people cheat on tests; con offered no evidence the other way, so I give it to Pro. Pro won.
Vote Placed by Contra 1 year ago
Contra
TheHitchslapmostlogicalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think that Con's arguments were more convincing and ultimately led me to award him with the stronger arguments. The most important parts of his case included: "Abolishing exams will cause more students to pay less attention in class, become inconsiderate, and ultimately lead to them wasting their time and not being able to handle whatever life throws at them later in life." Furthermore, his argument that academic dishonesty (i.e. cheating) was very low with exams was a claim that Pro didn't rebut. Pro did make important points such as that essays, presentations, et cetera are important ways of evaluating students and should optimally be balanced out with exams to evaluate student performance.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 1 year ago
bladerunner060
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD @ http://www.debate.org/forums/education/topic/69719/
Vote Placed by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: rfd in comments