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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Essay 014 (formal examinations or course work)

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:

Only formal examinations, written or practical, can give a clear picture of students’ true knowledge and ability at university level. Continuous assessment like course work and projects are poor measures of student ability.  How far do agree with this latter statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience
You should write at least 250 words.

The assessment methods of students’ ability at the university level are now undergoing many conceptual changes in the recent times. Traditionalist would argue that formal examination is the best approach in analysing the academic performance of a student, but researches, of late, have continuously proved the superiority of course work and projects in judging the comprehensive ability of a student.

In the first place, formal examinations can, sometimes, generate exam phobia among students, as they are usually conducted at the end of the term, which certainly means that students are forced to study an extensive syllabus. This would generate a great amount of stress and fear among many students. In such circumstances, students may not be able to perform to the best of their potential, which is a drawback of this type of assessment. On the other hand, continuous assessment and course work help students to approach examinations in a relaxed manner. Such examinations take place throughout the year, which means students do not have to study the whole syllabus at the end of the term.

Secondly, formal examinations mainly test the rote memory of students, whereas continuous assessments and project work help students do a great deal of research and discover information by themselves. The second method, certainly tests the creative ability of students in a more efficient way as compared to formal examinations.

In conclusion, course work and project works have proved to be much more effective in assessing the comprehensive ability of students. Such methods have benefited students in approaching examinations in a very relaxed manner.


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Deepi Sandhal said...