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Examinations - "For" and "Against"

Students pass many oral and written exams during the studying at school, college and university. Teachers can monitor student’s achievements with their help. However, exams are not the only way of effective monitoring. There is a great amount of other means of controlling a level of student’s knowledge. In my opinion, exams remained from  past times and they gave no benefits for modern students and their education.

 Firstly, final exams can trigger off stress. Even if, a student knows the material well, he can forget it on the exams because of the pressure of time or teacher. Many students always get nervous during exams and cannot organize their thoughts in a proper way. In addition, because of a horrible tension students may have many psychological problems that even can lead to committing suicides.  Secondly, exams are not the fair way of monitoring as it does not show your real knowledge but memorization skills. It is almost impossible to show in 2 hours what you have learnt during the six months. Moreover, many students cheat in order to achieve great marks. Since, the real knowledge takes a back seat for them. Thirdly, it is unfair to assess the knowledge and skills of different students by means of usage the same standardized examination task. This is because everyone has a specific learning curve and students, who are visuals or oral learners simply cannot successfully pass a written exam.

To my mind, final exams are not effective and necessary because we always receive almost the same kind of papers from the support centre of the college. The only difference is in the atmosphere in which we perform the task. Therefore, teachers can assess our knowledge just by checking everyday activities. There is no reason in the creation of a special final exam because it is an additional stress and tension. Moreover, it is easier to write the assignment at home, consulting the Internet and dictionaries than to pass the exam at class under the pressure of time and without any additional materials. In any case, it does not mean that we do not know how to write an essay. Simply, when the person is relaxed, he can perform his real knowledge without any stress effects. In my opinion, traditional exams should be somehow modified. It should be allowed to use notes during the exam because in everyday life people use different available tools to perform the task in the best way. Moreover, exams should be as more close to life needs as possible, so students can use what they have learnt in real life situations. The other solution is an integral mode of examination to sum up the overall achievement of the student through his studies. This exam should be only once and in the form of a game or  by means of open space technology.

On the other hand, exams are not so bad. Firstly, they can trigger off boost of a studying activity. Preparing for the exams everyone can fill the gaps in the material that one has not learnt well during the class work. Secondly, exams in some way force students to apply their skills and knowledge to a real – life situation. As life is the examination in some cases too. Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”(Ratcliffe, 2011) Thirdly, it is a great opportunity to improve memory skills. However, memory training is essential for achieving great results. 

To sum up, the final exam is not the only way of effective assessment. There are many disadvantages in it, but modified in some way has the chance of being useful for both students and teachers.