Are Tests and Exams Still Needed for Evaluating Students’ Knowledge?

Why Exams are Essential in the Education Systems.

Evaluating students is a critical aspect of learning that ensures the instructors assess knowledge uptake in students. Despite the significant contribution, the exams have been called to question. The million-dollar debate is whether or not exams are the best tool for evaluating students’ knowledge is likely going to stay with us for a while. Whereas some will argue that there is no other way of testing students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts, many students dislike exams and will opt for any opportunity to avoid them. Today, students of all academic levels are tested using numerous exams in different school curricula. As the questions and debates continue, it is apparent that students might have to put up with the exams for a long time. However, it remains a puzzle whether these tests and exams are still necessary for evaluating students’ knowledge in each study level.

Academic knowledge and competence are not a candid measure of a successful individual in a society. Therefore, there is no particular test that will thoroughly evaluate the students’ abilities. However, to enhance learning in educational institutions, there is a need for frameworks and formal systems that evaluates how better a student or an instructor performs within a specified period. The assessment involves having distinctions between abilities levels, knowledge uptake, and the experience of students in successfully achieving a specific academic task. Exams present the best and ethical frameworks that will allow the testing of the students in an impartial manner. The clear and measurable guidelines in the test make them a paramount method of evaluating students.

Exams as Measure of Knowledge Capture and not Intelligence

The problem with most examination systems is that they have students duped into thinking that the exams are a measure of their intelligence. The exams only test a student’s ability to understand and retain knowledge as taught in a class and develop the confidence to perform tasks. Exams and tests do not encourage the pursuit of individual innovation but instead focuses on the pursuit of grades. Evidence in the case is witnessed in the way students prepare for the exams by practicing with past papers in the hopes that they can predict what will be tested.

More than once, the integrity of some of these papers has been called to question. Some of the concerns raised regarding reliance on exams include:

• students are more likely than not to cheat on exams to attain good grades.

• Flawed tests do not necessarily evaluate students’ ability to innovate.

• Examinations do not indicate whether someone has genuinely acquired specific knowledge.

• Rather than test the analysis, innovation, and understanding of concepts, exams mostly assess students’ memory.

• Other factors that are unrelated to student’s ability to remember concepts may push bright students to underperform in the tests.

Exams and tests still carry their purposes of facilitating the education development by measuring the students’ levels of knowledge uptake. They may not necessarily show an actual student’s ability, but they are critical in the teaching and learning process because they enhance attention to details.