The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

exams should be done away with?

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 22,510 times Debate No: 20354
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




exams are controversial...arent they??? after all nobody likes to give them?
its only the educators who find them are they good for us?
OR do they create stress and are a peace of nuisance??

the contender will have to argue against the motion.


I accept this challenge and negate the resolution. Although that I agree that examinations are not perfect, my thesis will be that they have a net benefit, meaning that they should not be eradicated.


Contention 1: Exams provide a means to objectively evaluate what a student has learned

Although many students and teachers dislike grades an exams, there needs to be an objective standard that measures what a student has learned. Without exams, teachers would be forced to resort to two methods of grading. First, they could choose not to assign grades. This, however, does not give employers and colleges a fair method to objectively evaluate whether or not a student is capable of learning the material presented to them and whether or not they have mastered the abilities necessary to carry out specific functions. Second, the teacher could assign grades subjectively. This also undermines the idea of an objective evaluation because it harms students who may anger the teacher for various reasons and aids students with excellent social skills put who have a poor mastery of the material. Exams correct for these flaws by providing for a more objective basis for evaluating what a student has learned.

Contention 2: Exams serve as a feedback mechanism for the teacher.
Another reason to give exams to students is that teachers need an objective basis for determining whether or not they have taught a specific section of the material properly. Since the only way to do this is to test the students' mastery of the material, exams can provide teachers with valuable information as to whether or not they need to change their teaching styles or the way that they presented the material. If most students do poorly on questions from a specific unit, for example, teachers will be able to correct their styles and aid students in mastering the proper material.

Pro's Case

The opponent's case rests on the idea that students find them stressful. This is not a reason to affirm, however. First, I gave you net benefits that show that you should negate. Second, not all students find exams stressful, so this is just an unwarranted assertion that you can throw out. Finally, turn this argument because this prepares students for life. Life is obviously a very stressful experience, so by giving students stress now, exams help them prepare to deal with life's challenges in the future. That means that the fact that exams are stressful is good and is another reason to negate.

I strongly urge a negation of the resolution.
Debate Round No. 1


I believe that exams are redundant, unnecessary, and should be banned.

They give the students unnecessary stress which they are not capable to handle and find difficult to cope with which often makes it a lot more stressful.

first of all i'd like to highlight that exams only test the memory skills of a student and not their analytic reasoning which makes them a not so fair criteria to judge students, also their are a lot of students who suffer with disabilities like dyslexia which makes it impossible for them to cope..........others suffer from psychological stress against exams still others aren't just fit for them or in other words they are not lucky enough because the answers they really do mug up don't really even come in the exams.

i strongly feel that the child i forced to mug up his answers which altogether makes the text boring and irrelevant too.
exams are all about hit and trial and not learning based, frankly speaking the student retains nothing from them and actually forgets the learning matter within actually a few minutes of coming out of the examination hall.
Which makes it clear that exams are not a fair basis to judge a student's abilities it also in a way suggests that the student can be or may be much more capable then what the marks portray out.

Also,exams can completely discourage a student from trying in school. if a student keeps getting bad grades in his/her tests, he/she will eventually feel dumb and stop trying to learn all together. I've seen it happen, there are students in high school who practically have straight F's and they don't care because they don't think they can do better even when they do have the potential to.

furthermore,The crushing pressure on teenagers to perform well in exams can leave some students so distraught and remorseful that they feel life just isn't worth living which leads the most ugly acts of all-SUICIDE!
hundreds of teenagers kill themselves every year - often around the time of an annual exams.

some also fear they didn't do well enough to enter the college of their dreams by getting bad results and get depressed eventually suicide during the time of college entrances.

i strongly urge my worthy opponent to not be narrow-minded and think about these depression-ridden students as well as they are also a major concern in today's world's human working force gets affected if these students keep going on with their practice.

which makes it important to ask that are exams really of all that worth?!?!?!?

furthermore i'd like to draw some questions for my worthy opponent.

first of all in your first contention you have mentioned that if the teachers don't choose to grade, this wont be fair for the college administrators to evaluate students, but haven't you heard of systems like portfolio review and CCE?? In these systems the final grade is assigned on the overall basis not just exam test marks or social skills but a range of different criteria's are also included wont this be better?

SECONDLY in your second contention you have highlighted that the teacher's need for a standard basis to determine whether a portion of some random lesson is understood by all or not, here i'd like to intervene by saying that can't this be done by projects, reports or essays? Does it necessarily have to be by tests only? after all projects and essays would be far less stressful right?



First, note that my opponent does not actually provide us with a link to her sources; she gives us a link to the Wikipedia homepage. Insofar as this is true, she cannot automatically win sources.

Pro Case

She first claims that exams only test rote memorization. I am not sure what types of exams my opponent has taken, but this is just an unwarranted assertion. Many exams test analytical skills through the use of in-class essays/essay tests and short answer requirements. These types of questions easily test for analytical skills by attempting to require a student to extend his knowledge of the material discussed in order to draw conclusions in new situations; this is a common tactic in high school and college exams. In addition, even multiple choice exams can test analytical skills. The SAT (college entrance exam), ACT (college entrance exam), LSAT (law school entrance exam), and MCAT (medical school entrance exam) are all examples of multiple choice exams that are renowned for testing critical thinking skills instead of rote memorization. In addition, my opponent has not explained why rote memorization is inherently worthless. Memorization of facts is necessary to have a factual basis for extending critical thinking, so even if exams do not test for critical thinking, they are not necessarily unvaluable.

She next claims that exams discriminate against the mentally incompetent. While this is true, schools are legally required to provide special accomodations for students with learning disabilities. These can include different exams, extra time on exams, separate classrooms with specially trained teachers, etc. In addition, even if they do discriminate against students with disabilities, that should not be a reason to not provide an objective means to judge the amount of knowledge that normal students have obtained.

Finally, extend the dropped turn on the stress argument. Remember that in the previous round I showed that stress caused by exams is inherently good because it prepares students for life. This is something that my opponent drops but continues to argue in her first contention. Hence, you can extend the turn and re-apply it here. The impact is that exams better prepare students for life than not taking exams does because life is stressful and individuals must be able to respond to stress in a positive manner before entering the workforce.

Her next contention claims that exams are based on "hit and trial" and that students retain nothing. This is nothing but an unwarranted assertion that is not even backed by anecdotal evidence. Obviously students retain information from the exam, because if they did not, literally nobody would be able to understand how to operate in the workforce. Second, she seems to be unjustly assuming that exams are always multiple choice, which is not always the case.

Next, she claims that exams encourage a student to not try. Link-turn this because it is predicated upon the notion that exams are the cause for this type of behavior, when in reality this would have occured anyways. If we did not have an objective means to measure knowledge, very few students would work in high school because there would be no reason for them to do so. Without an objective means to measure the knowledge, students could simply not learn any of the material because they would not be able to be tested on it. Exams provide an incentive for a student to learn the material because they test one's knowledge of the subject area; perhaps they cannot motivate everyone, but it is certainly reasonable to claim that an even greater number of students would not exert themselves if exams did not exist.

Next, she discusses suicide. I highly doubt that any individual student committed suicide because of an exam. Regardless, these individuals can easily be dealt with through psychological counseling and aid. Moreover, the vast majority of students are not committing suicide over exams, meaning that they are on balance a non-stressful means to test knowledge in a subject.

She next brings up a college argument. First, this is nonunique because there will always be people who fear that they will not be able to enter a college no matter what metric is used to differentiate between students. Second, exams are more fair because they allow students to be admitted based on academic merit rather than on unfair and subjective factors such as socio-economic status.

It is pretty clear that the pro case has fallen.

Con Case

Against Contention 1, whe argues that we can use other systems like portfolio review and CCE. These are more subjective measures than exams because they do not present employers, colleges, and teachers with hard information about knowledge in a course; rather, individuals will be selected based on whether or not the individual looking at the portfolio is able to connect with the work. Second, these are worse because they allow for easier cheating. While cheating does occur when students take exams, it is much easier to discover and much easier to prevent than cheating in my opponent's alternatives. Parents or outside specialists could easily help with projects and portfolios, so there is no actual way to measure if the student has learned anything if exams did not exist. Finally, these are all nonunique solutions. There is no reason that I cannot implement a system that includes both projects and exams. In fact, the status quo already does so.

Against Contention 2, she again discusses projects and essays. Please cross-apply the arguemtns about cheating and the nonuniqueness of these solutions here.

Thus, I strongly urge a negation of today's resolution.
Debate Round No. 2


i'd like to go with my 3rd contention first.
in my previous argument i had claimed that exams are all about hit and trial and the students retain absolutely nothing just after a few minutes of coming out of the examinatio hall,i still take my stand and argue that if it wasnt so, then in today's world we would have no doctors who would have misinterpreted a patients case and spoilt their treatment OR engineers by whose fault the buildings might have collapsed but YET we still have these incidents, dont we?

next i come back to my point that exams discourage students from trying, though i wholehaertedly agree that its like an incentive for those who fear them but here i am talking about those people who keep on getting bad grades: are used to all the scoldings and spankings of the teachers and parents and maintain the so-called dont care attitude, here i strongly beleive that by introducing new systems like portfolio riview nd cce they can atleast do well in other agendas?And projects and essays unlike exams also arent boring.

Talking about suicide, i think my worthy opponent should know her facts correctly here i'd like to demonstrate this with the help of a few examples
iin india a large number of students suicide in fear of the 12th board exams, they are the final exams and help in deciding the person's respective career, failing in these straight away means that you would be unsuccessful in life and correspondingly youy dont even get admissions in good colleges if you DONT GIVE TOKEN MONEY
need i give more examples?



Pro Case

First, extend the dropped argument that exams test that I made against her first contention. According to this argument, exams test both rote memorization skills and analytical skills. This is going to be a very key argument because it backsolves any offense that she receives through the portfolio arguments. Since portfolios only test analytical skills, while exams test both analytical and memory skills, exams are superior to portfolios because they are a more accurate means through which to measure knowledge.

Next, extend the dropped argument about the fact that discrimination is solved through different exams, extra time, special classrooms, etc. The impact of this argument is that exams provide an objective basis for testing knowledge that can evaluate the needs of regular students, intelligent students, and students with special needs. This is key in the round because it further buttresses my key position, namely that exams are an objective measure of knowledge.

Third, extend the dropped stress turn. This also solves her portfolio argument because exams better prepare students for life by teaching them to deal with stress.

Fourth, she defends her "hit and trial" argument by claiming that accidents still occur in the medical field and in the engineering field. While this is true, this is not an indication that students do not retain the information that they learn through exams. A variety of other factors, including flawed theories in the field, natural disasters, horrendous building materials, etc. could also contribute to this. She has nothing to back this argument besides conjecture. Moreover, even if some students do not retain the information, the vast majority do, as evidenced by the fact that most buildings do not regularly collapse and that most doctors do not commit malpractice.

Fifth, she pretty much concedes the discouragment link-turn. Her only response is that some students do not care, but note that I already solved this by nothing that more students will not care in the affirmative world. Even if you accept her argument as true, I am still outweighing her in terms of the magnitude of students who prepare adequately for school. This point flows negative.

Sixth, she counters my claims that her suicide argument is nothing but conjecture by giving a few examples. First, these are new and should have been given in the last round, so it is not fair to evaluate them. Second, extend and cross-apply the dropped nonuniqueness argument that proves that students will always have this problem regardless of which metric is used to differentiate between students. There is no inherent reason that this would not occur if portfolios or projects were used by universities and employers.

Negative Case

My opponent basically concedes the entire negative case in her last speech. So, extend the the argument that indicates that her alternative mechanisms promote cheating while exams minimze this. This means that I am outweighing my opponent in terms of knowledge retained, so I further solve her retention argument. Next, extend the two main contentions from the case, namely that exams provide an objective basis for evaluating what a student has learned and they serve as a feedback mechanism for the teacher. These two arguments were entirely unaddressed in her final speech and are a reason to negate.

Voting Issues

Normally, I would present voters, but I believe that you can vote on almost every argument that I made in this rebuttal. I also presented weighing analysis that proves that my impacts outweigh my opponent's impacts on multiple levels. I thus strongly urge a negation of the resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Logic_on_rails 6 years ago
Indeed, exams have significant scope for reform and improvement. I've detailed this in some of my debates. For example, exam design is somewhat flawed, and, critically, the marking system used is quite poor and should be changed to confidence assessment marking.

However, it's abundantly clear that some form of exam is required, so 'done away with' is a poor idea.
Posted by royalpaladin 6 years ago
Is the first round for acceptance only, or should I post an argument?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: con destroyed the pro's arguments and all the pro could do was ask questions in response.... arguments and grammar goes to the con. Sadly though con used no sources whereas pro used 4, so yeah...
Vote Placed by debateme 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: s/g- Pro overused punctuation, used caps, didn't capitalize, omitted spaces arguments- Pro ignores most of Con's arguments, while Con presents rebuttals and well thought out main points sources- Con used no sources, and Pro used sources to back up his claims in the last round. Even if it was in the last round, Pro deserves the sources vote.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Lol. Con's arguments were superior and outweighed pro's. S/G goes to con for pro's overuse of periods, question-marks, etc, and her much more sophisticated language. :)