Examinations – Are They Good or Bad?

Examinations - Are They Good or Bad?

Examinations – Are They Good or Bad?

The discussion should answer the following questions:

  • How do you feel about examinations at school or university level?
  • How do you feel about students who cheat in examinations?
  • Do you think exams are really fair?
  • How can exams be improved?
  • What are your special experiences regarding exams?
  • Do you think multiple choice exams actually measure language skills?

Note: Submit your response as a comment in the comment area below.

The discussion has started on: December 27, 2013
The discussion has ended on: January 18, 2014

7 thoughts on “Examinations – Are They Good or Bad?

  1. How I feel about examinations? The answer is negative. I simply hate them! I don’t like them and I would be so surprised if any natural human being likes them. They are a necessary evil at their best. But are they?

    I think we should talk about measuring educational outcomes rather than so-called examinations. I think it is fair if we want to get feedback about what we do as teachers or learners. But the problem is usually in the exam formats or settings.

    Sometimes, I feel exams are done to punish learners or even to torture them. Sometimes, I feel exams are silly and artificial and that they measure nothing.

    Speaking of measurement, I believe exams must be trustworthy, reliable, and valid. They must be done in natural circumstances with positive atmospheres rather than threatening ones.

    I think students resort to cheating because of the way they are examined. Of course they will try to cheat if the questions are based on memorization. In my classes, students rarely cheat because they know they have either an open-book exam or a practical exam. They know that they will get another chance if they are not prepared. They know that they will receive fair treatment and more follow-up. They know that my exams are educational and not threatening.

    I believe that the great majority of teachers in any subject are not trained in exam techniques. They may be great chemists or mathematicians, but doing exams is another art and science.

    In language learning, I do not believe in the worth of so called objective exams or multiple choice items. I do not believe in mass testing in so called unified exams. I think the best way to measure language SKILLS is by oral and essay exams.

    Finally, I believe that exams are the worst aspect of modern education particularly in developing countries. I think they are abused and mismanaged.

    I want to say a big thank you to Mohammad Kamal for bringing up this topic for Discussion Point. I think we all need to learn more about exams and evaluation. They have not come of age in my humble opinion.

  2. I don’t like the cheating by students, they can prove their skills by studying, and show us their talents. They have to study well and prepare in advance. They have to be ready for it, and take things easy.
    Exams which are based on memorizing are so foolish because they just waste our time stuffing our brains with useless information.
    They should give us exams which encourage us to think, understand and be creative.

  3. Examinations have a purpose which is to assess or to evaluate the student’s abilities or the amount of information he’s been able to understand through his learning process, BUT, in our case at the university or in our faculty to be precise, those needs aren’t to be met!
    Our exams represent a challenge between the lecturer and his students; how long could they survive, how much could they memorize, keep in mind that memory is an essential thing in Medicine but the way exams are testing it makes our goal and only goal is to pass it and once you get out of the exam you feel like the amount of information declines immediately unless you self-study them again!
    Our exams should be based on evaluating many aspects, not just memory (or multiple choice), like for example the ability to comprehend, write, speak and present so that the student can benefit from the exam he’s taken and I’m sure this way can improve one’s memory much better.

    About cheating well we all know it’s non beneficial and forbidden – if your goal is to learn and grasp the concept of the lecture- which leads me again to talk about the type of exam which forces you to do such a thing, I mean if your only goal is to pass those credit hours and this lecture doesn’t concern you in anyway but to pass it then why not? If I’m not going to use it (even if it’s not related to my major) in my working life then why learn it? UNLESS, they give us the lecture in a way that catches our attention and makes us wanting to know more about, interestingly learn about it, practice it then I believe all the subjects we take can be good for our knowledge since it’s never enough to stop learning.

  4. I hate exams whether at school level or university level. I hate them because I become nervous. Cheating is so bad as a way to get a high mark. I hate cheating and cheaters. Cheaters will not continue to be successful in their life. They, of course, will fail in the end.

    Sometimes, exams are not fair. Like Tawjihi exams; they are never fair, because some students do not study and cheat in the exam then get high marks. After that, they enter the universities without any studying. But they think that university is much easier than Tawjihi.

    I think these cheaters will stay in the university and will not graduate from the university. But some of them cheated in Tawjihi and use cheating also in the university. They will graduate but they will not do they job in correct ways and they will be unsuccessful.

    Of course, exams improve us because when we make an error we will learn from our mistakes. Exams also let us study well because we sometimes wait for exam time to study.

    What about multiple choice exams? I think those exams are not fair and do not measure the skills. And in those exams it is easy to cheat. I think this type of exams never measure the skill and students can get an high marks.

  5. Generally, I hate exams. Who does not! But in certain courses I really think that we should have exams. It is not about scoring high marks. No of course not, but it is for you to know that you really understand. Although I take many exams, I still feel nervous in each exam because I keep thinking that this exam might raise me up or cause me to fall me down.

    I admit that it takes a lot of time from me to find out my mistakes and know how to deal with them. But in the end, we all have problems when it comes to examinations. About cheating and cheaters? I hate both. I think that cheating is not a suitable way to deal with any thing in life. Even if it works one time or ever several times, some day everything will be clear. I believe that they will fail in their practical life!

  6. Hello all! I believe that it is not fair to take an “exam” in more or less than two hours to measure one’s skills. And I do not like the idea of limiting ourselves in one book or two! Evaluation cannot be done in a limited period of time with limited amount of books!

    BUT sometimes I feel so HAPPY when I have an exam for some subjects with some special professors! Actually, we are so lucky to have one male Dr in our Department who believes in teaching English in NONTRADITIONAL ways! After we take any exam with that Dr we feel that we did not do well but he keeps telling us that “It is not the end of life; you can prove yourself and show the best of you”.

    After all, when we see our grades we feel how fair that professor is! This is for NOW… Anyone who cheats in exams will cheat in anything in life. Will cheat any relationship, anyone, anything just to gain current benefits! So I do not trust students who keep cheating!

    I HATE students who cheat, especially, the ones who show the opposite to my professors! I feel so surprised if one of our professors said that “ I wrote the exam while I am watching TV” and I can tell how proud that Professor is because s/he thinks that s/he is now an expert! And s/he is confident enough that writing exams is so easy. Some professors think of writing exams as if it is a game! BUT I believe that writing exams is not easy; they need a deep study!

    To improve exams we should not have them at all! So the improvement is when we delete and ignore them! I am talking about the current system of SOME examinations! Exams are not fair, not all the time, especially for those students who are moody! They cannot study certain topics in certain circumstances but they are forced to do that! Therefore, they will not do their best because their mood is not okay. Actually, it happens!

    Multiple choice exam? This is not an exam! I just till this day keep laughing if I take “multiple choice exam”! I do not know why but I feel that it is a big joke to share it with students! Thank you “Write Garden” :)!

  7. Hello, I am a new member in this garden and my name is Majd Mohammad. I hope my writing becomes better and more organized as I am sure I will spend great time with you!

    In fact, I agree with Dr. Turki and with most of the students who say :”I hate exams”! I think we do not learn when we have any exam, because we simply start studying without understanding any useful information! We just store them in our mind to have high marks!

    Another important point. I think exams will not be useful for us when we have jobs. We have to know more how to apply what we study not just have examinations.

    I would like to write more but I must go to study for my final exam! I am so happy because I try to write in this “garden.”

Comments are closed.