Exam only measure the memory of students not their learning

Are exams the only way to assess a student's learning? Do exams measure students intelligence or are they only able to test their memory for a while?. Read here to know more on this debated topic of exams.

Created On: Dec 15, 2017 18:04 IST
Exam measure memory or intelligence?
Exam measure memory or intelligence?

Every student has to go through several internal assessment tests, quarterly tests, semi-annual test, and finally annual exams during their school life and for higher education as well. These exams do give us result if a student is ready to move further in their learning process to next level but also, there are examples when students pass their tests but they have not acquired anything from their last class. Therefore, it is a debated topic that does exams only measure students’ memory but not their knowledge?

Here we discuss both aspects of exams measuring students’ knowledge or not?

In favour –

  • Exams only require students to write and deliver whatever they have studied about subjects during the class only
  • Exam cannot justify how a student will implement their knowledge about the subject in real life
  • Also, exam is structured with limited time and students are required to write as per the questions asked in the test paper and within the time limit. Thus, exams only need students to write whatever they have memorised about the subject as quickly as possible. This does not measure their knowledge.
  • All questions asked in the test paper are only based on concepts in the book and it has no direct relationship with the real life situations which students face in everyday life.
  • Students only remember things that will be asked in the exams for short period of time and once the exam is over, they start learning new things for next exams hence, they are not able to learn from what they have studied.

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Against –

  • Exams measure learning as well because; students need to understand the concepts before memorising the answers for their tests.
  • The questions in the test paper are based on chapters which are directly or indirectly based on the real life situations and facts.
  • Exams are set in limited time duration because it can analyse the students’ skills to attempt questions in the test paper in the most critical manner.
  • Memory is a part of learning and everyone learn and implement what they have studied during their school life in their real life situations for example, the concept learnt by engineers during their college is asked in exams as well as to make a successful career in engineering they have to implement these principles in their work.

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Conclusion: Exams are the only measure to analyse whether a student’s is ready their next level of education. If exams are not based on the concepts from book then, it will be really difficult to understand the skills and knowledge a students as acquired. In order, to analyse students overall learning from what he has studied, the examiner can make changes or adopt new exam pattern to ask questions in the exams.  

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  • Sai ShreyasJul 23, 2021
    good information. thank you .
  • gfgJul 10, 2021