TED Conversations

Karthik CR

student in Information Science,

This conversation is closed.

Do you think Exams are the only way to test students/Person?

Are exams really a tool to test knowledge of a person?
Exams are said to be the means of monitoring and scaling the academic performance of students.
Students learn a subject for a whole year and write a exam for just 2-3 hours is it really enough to test the skills of a student?
Anyone who has a good memory power can pass a exam so is he considered to be a knowledgeable person in that subject?

Topics: exams

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 5 2013: Have you ever actually heard anyone claim that exams are the only way to assess what students know? Are you saying that in India there are no assessments of learning for an entire year and then a single test is given?! This is very much not the practice in the United States. Student progress here is assessed in a variety of ways all year long. Some teachers give an end of year test and some don't.

    Kids who are applying to college do take a test typically a year before they graduate that tests very basic reading comprehension, basic math through second year algebra, and writing. It is one factor in college admissions. As in India, students aiming to apply to competitive colleges have taken much more math than is represented on the exam.

    There are also end of year tests given at some grades that are designed to give a picture of how the whole school is doing in math or something, but that is not part of the record a college would see and doesn't affect students grades in their courses.
    • thumb
      Sep 5 2013: Here in india students are also given tests on a regular basis but at last only the exam score is given on the certification.So what we score at the final exam at the end of the year really counts .
      • thumb
        Sep 5 2013: I see. Are the regular tests through the year and at the end the only ways you are assessed, or do you also write essays and papers, do science projects and lab reports, and so forth?

        I expect based on India's abysmal performance on the PISA exam, pretty near the bottom in math and science, you have a great chance of seeing major reforms! I know in the US, our mediocre performance in math, 31st of 73 countries, has spurred major effort in that area. Interestingly, the US was 17th of 74 in reading last time around, better than Sweden, France, Denmark, and the UK and 23rd of 74 in science, again better than Norway, Denmark, France, and Sweden. But the popular impression in the US is that the US is worst in everything. Popular impressions are very effective here in getting school boards to take change seriously.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.