Should school exams be replaced with different ways of assessing skills and knowledge?

  • I believe that they should be replaced.

    I'm in school, I take the exams. They are horrible, people will keep saying that exams are the reasons teacher know what students need to re-learn and what they still need to go over. But in reality, if the students fail, the teachers don't really care. They don't. It will just drop your grade and the teacher will keep teaching new things, while your falling behind because a major grade in the book is a 50. Exams don't help the teachers or the students. I have failed plenty of tests and exams and not once did the teacher go back over the material. I think that they just need something to make a grade off of, whether it helps you or not, they don't care. You can tell if a student is understanding the criteria by how well his homework and daily grades are. Don't try to say "oh, but you can cheat on all that stuff." Because you can cheat on a test as well. It's not right to determine whether or not a person should pass for the semester , by putting a 60 question test under their nose. Much less the TAKS/STARR tests. Its stupid. If you can pass the class with normal school work and daily papers, there is no need for major tests and such.

  • Where to begin?

    Educational tools enable children to learn and allow teachers to to assess students. But how is evaluating students in the same manner and even lower their marks and averaging them out an accurate representation of how well that child is doing and what they are truly capable of achieving. As Albert Einstein once said ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid’ In the same way that if we judge a students intelligence and ability based of their exam score we may not see them for their true potential they really have. A teacher is unable to confidently judge a child’s learning experiences through the same style for all child. We know that each child is different and has different learning styles, yet when we assess them we don’t offer any of these differences. These would then give an inaccurate reflection of a students progress and learning abilities, in the same way Einstein’s quote doesn't cater for the fishes ability. If we understand that students all learn in a different way, why do we insist on examining them in the same way?

    If you fail a an exam or even a test, the content isn’t retaught, meaning you never really learn from your mistakes and aren’t given that chance to prove yourself. Instead the next topic begins. Wouldn’t a more logical and beneficial approach be to simply reteach those common mistakes and allow students to fully grasp the concept rather than just move on?

    You may be thinking of how important exams are and how we can use them to go to university leading to our chosen career. But is this a necessary process. Are we not able to do so in a different way that caters for all students learning styles and preferences. Allowing each and every student to shine in their own way. If a student is able to pass class through their normal school work, consisting of homework, diagnostic tests along the way, class work completed then there should be no need for exams. It would be visible what students were capable of and weather they have understood the concepts taught resulting in passing the units.

    The current school system doesn’t cater for specific needs and learning methods of students. It also includes unnecessary content that will almost be guaranteed to not come up again once out of school.

    Exams put unnecessary stress on young and developing students, which don’t prepare them for any ‘real world’ scenarios.

  • Exams end up being memory tests you can't afford to fail.

    Exams are the most stressful part of education. You have to spend week after sleep deprived week studying over everything you've got so far, not missing anything because it might be on the test, absolutely stressed out, only for you to have a stressed-induced blank out on the day and screw it up horribly. Sure, some students can study a bit a day before the exam and come out with an A, but not everyone works like that. This isn't reflecting a student's knowledge, it's gambling their grades on how well their memory holds up under pressure.

  • Late Night Studying

    I'm a student at Sacred Hearts, and I say that exams can make us do worse. With all the classes I have to study for, the materials in the study guides can get you mixed up. Like you put down e=mc2 when the question says "What did Moses part?" (I wish my questions were this easy...) Anyway, it can get very confusing, and it puts a lot of pressure on us.

    Exams at our school count as half of our grade, and while we may completely understand the material covered, just staring at a three-page packet jammed full with questions can make you feel queasy. I rarely study for exams, and I pull As and Bs, but I've seen my friends struggle just to get a C+. The pressure just gets to us, and I know when I've skipped a few questions on tests because I got too nervous that I just wanted to finish it.

  • Many people say that exams are necessary but I think they are useless

    I am current in 1st year in Scotland so I am witnessing many people in years higher than me taking highers and advanced highers and they are massively stressed out. I am also currently writing a debate to show why exams are useless and I have found some very interesting views online. Many people find it hard to take exams and find it easier to show information in presentations and acting it out so it is unfair to only show peoples intelligence in a subject. Also the only things that exams show are your ability to remember things and not actually how good someone is at a subject.

  • The emotional tax it has on students is insane and inconsiderate.

    As a teenager going through exams, I have to say it is the worst thing in the world. It stresses you out, and even the smartest kids I know are failing miserably! I'm a good student, I do well in all my classes and I know I'm capable of anything I want to achieve-but universities will look at my grades and go "Oh, gee, her exam scores aren't that great. Her homework and essays and labs are all perfect, in the high 90's-but her test scores are in the 60-70's. Too bad."

    Why compromise a perfectly good brain and persons future? If to start our schooling in university and college we need to have almost perfect exam scores, then I as well as a lot of people are screwed. We don't work well under pressure, have trouble memorizing things and as a result we mess up our exams!

    My graded would be so much higher if there was another way to assess our skills and knowledge. I think exams should be exterminated.

  • standardized tests are not effective in America

    Standardized tests are very important to students, and the determine how effective they are in the real world. Teachers must have high expectations from students by testing them in various ways, in order to see their full range of abilities. I'm a student from South Asia, when I first had my mid-term in a college in California, the teacher told us that it was going to be an open book exam. I was shocked and ashamed to be in that class when I realized, how low the bar was set for students. Instructors don't understand that, when they have an open book exam, its no longer an exam.

  • Exams cause stress

    Exams cause too much stress, panic and anxiety in students. It destroys the student forcing them to worry on nothing else than a grade or pathetic number! Students should credited in their merit , commitment and character. Very little time on vast areas of knowledge for one exam where the exam is theoretical which is not a structure found in the real world. It's upsetting to see children, mere students eager to learn and develop from their primary or secondary schools cry, panic and work themselves up just for gratification from a number. Exams are not the answer, perhaps coursework may be a good substitute.

  • Exams aren't used in jobs so they shouldn't be used in school

    Exams just test your memory. They do not test your intelligence. Examiners could easily make a mistake when marking therefore making it completely pointless. How on earth does answering questions based on what you REMEMBER you were taught in class prepare you for a job in the future. Completely pointless.

  • I support this!

    I think that school exams can be helpful for certain students but for most students they represent cramming, bad study habits, and rote memorization of facts. Exams that test this sort of information do not provide an accurate reflection of the student's intellectual abilities, rather they demonstrate which students can cram better than other students. Implementing alternative forms of assessment may allow other students to prove their own intellectual abilities in a manner that actually quantifies true intellect as opposed to memorization.

  • Exams are the worst way of evaluating knowledge, if you don't take any of the other ways into account.

    We all know that exams are not the perfect way of assessing skills. However, it is the best way we have. It is really important to motivate the kids, I myself am a student, and I can honestly tell you that I wouldn't ever study if we didn't have an exam.
    In addition, it let's you see the progress and learn from your mistakes. Lots of people have said that since they don't reteach the contents of the exams one doesn't learn from the things he has done wrong, but I disagree. If it wasn't for the exams one wouldn't know if he had understood what they have taught. Maybe I believe that I know everything, but after taking a test I realise I was wrong and that I misunderstood all of it.
    Furthermore, when you take an exam you learn the correct way of expressing yourself, managing stress, dealing with due dates, and lots of more skills.

  • I disagree with the idea that exams should be replaced with different ways of assessing skills and knowledge, because I believe exams are something everyone should have to learn to take.

    I think that people should have to take exams, because they help people learn to remember skills. Someone may be able to prove physically that they have some skills, but it makes you wonder what skills they may lack. If people lack important skills, then it could cost someone their life. It seems more important that people demonstrate, through a written exam, that they understand all of the information.

    Posted by: tablefortwo
  • Exams, although not perfect, are a good way to assess a student's capabilities, because they apply knowledge to real-life situations.

    Even though exams do not perfectly assess a student's mental ability, they are extremely necessary, since they force students to apply their knowledge to real-life situations. Every educational institution will expect different things from different people. And it is up to the individual student to find ways to work around the system.

    Posted by: KaputFederico
  • I oppose school exams being replaced with different ways of assessing skills and knowledge; students work harder when it counts towards a grade.

    I think that exams are a good way of assessing skills and knowledge because students are more likely to try when it counts towards a grade. If students have no incentive, there's not much reason for them to try. It's like if you went to work and they didn't pay you, then why go to work in the first place? I think that exams provide the most accurate way of testing student knowledge and learning.

    Posted by: boobop
  • School exams should not be replaced, because they are an efficient and effective way to test knowledge.

    Testing is not perfect. Sometimes tests have biases, and teaching to the test can limit creativity and dampen enthusiasm for learning. However, children do need to be assessed, and testing allows teachers or administrators to evaluate children in a relatively objective, standardized, efficient way. Other methods would either be highly subject to personal bias or would be incredibly time intensive and impractical. Although tests aren't perfect, they're still one of the better options.

    Posted by: NoIanP4P3r
  • Regular tests are a good way to assess a student's knowledge when combined with homework and participation grades.

    A test is an easy way to gauge a student's knowledge. However, some students do freeze when it's time to take a test, so they should be averaged with homework and class participation grades. There is no other accurate way to test a student's knowledge.

    Posted by: Pyr0Dwa
  • School exams should remain, as they test knowledge, but they should be somewhat modified.

    I come from the UK, where exams test years of knowledge rather than standardized testing, and I find that to be more beneficial to your future career path or college options rather than some blind, general knowledge quiz and for which four years of high school didn't prepare you. For harder exams such as languages, history and science, some exams should be open-book or allow you to bring a specified but very brief amount of notes to trigger specific terms or dates. No-one is going to learn by cramming for an exam, and in real-life, you'll always have your notes or books to refer to. It's better to make exams more like their real-life counterparts so that there is context in learning.

    Posted by: R053Neddy
  • I think other assessment methods should supplement but not replace exams which have a clear role in evaluating progress.

    Certainly other methods should supplement traditional exam methods, especially since we now recognize a variety of learning skills. Some students respond better to oral exams than written, or to performance and demonstration of mastery rather than a traditional book test. But standardized exams - not the kind currently used but good old fashioned progress assessments - are still one of the most reliable indicators.

    Posted by: Th4Fire
  • Exams help us improve our shills which are important for our life.

    - You see, The examinations we attempt are to be finished within a limited time which teaches us a lifetime lesson to complete our work within a limited time period. Time management is very important in one's life.
    - also, Many a times happen that we know an answer but we are not able to express it. When you give exams, It teaches you how to present your ideas when you grow up and we all know that presentation is always important in one's career.

  • Exams help in the future

    Exams test your mental and physical health this is a problem because without exams you are not tested. There may be other ways. But I will say that it should stay the same. This is because other ways may cause cheating. As the argument above says adulthood is more stressful. Also people say it is just your memory, but adulthood you need memory you need memory for bills and funds

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Anonymous says2013-05-07T16:16:39.803
The aims and scranton tests are unconstitutional, the kids work hard all year and then it depends on those test wheather they pass or fail. Some kids does great on daily testing, then when it is time for those test some kids freeze up and fails it. I know, my grandson is that way. They need to do away with them.