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Do you think time limits in exams are unfair?

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    (Original post by Tomac)
    Please tell me what exam you did? Because that clearly sounds like bull.
    Applied ICT by CIE. You have 75 minutes for 80 marks and you still have to read scenarios. This year the breakup of the question was really different, usually there is only like one or two eight mark questions and the rest is 6-7, but this year it was many 8 mark questions and only a few of the other ones.


    (Original post by nmudz_009)
    U


    If you have a photo graphic memory and still cant keep
    To time you're definitely waffling.
    There is less than one minute per mark and you still have to read scenarios and apply the question to them, believe me you don't have enough time. In my literature exam I have 2 hours to write two essays and always finish before time and get good grades and its the same with my other subjects, so I can definitely keep to time.
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    (Original post by BabushkaMan)
    I think this is the case, at least in regard to writing-based exams like English and History where essays are required. Should the focus not be on whether or not you know the information and can articulate a good argument around the facts, rather than a race to see how fast you can get it all down?

    Surely a fairer system would be to give the student a limited amount of paper. That way everyone is on the same page, so to speak. At the moment, the advantage is had by people who can write quickly and order their thoughts quicker than others.





    Have look at this Second page, second paragraph...

    Such is the scenario when presented with timed
    tests. Most VSLs can’t translate their mental pictures
    into words (or numbers, if it’s a math test) very
    quickly when they are under pressure knowing they
    have a limited amount of time to get out the correct
    answer. They have an image readily available to them,
    but they are panic-stricken trying to translate that
    image into the right answer.
    I'm a visual/spatial learner and yes, I think it's a bit unfair. But I guess there's nothing I can do...

    I also heard that around 30% of the people are strong visual thinkers...

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    (Original post by Sports Racer)
    All those saying that the time limit is 'a test in itself', 'good practice for working life', 'stops you waffling' or 'is fair because everyone's in the same boat' are missing the point. Surely you would agree that the purpose of the exam is to test your knowledge of the subject matter and your ability to apply that knowledge in an unseen context. Tight time limits only serve to discourage deep original thought and actively encourage you to dump everything you know onto the page. Therefore they penalise great students and boost those who cram or rote learn material.

    I hope some of you (particularly those at university) will agree with me when I say that it is incredibly frustrating having to write an essay in 45-60 minutes and having no room to bring in actually quite subtle and sophisticated points because you've spent most of them time laying foundations and getting the bread&butter points down.

    We want to see quality over quantity. Increasing time limits by 15 mins extra per question + 15 minutes reading time will produce higher quality answers from the best candidates because they have the time to plan and think. I think this sort of time extension is reasonable and any waffling it produces will simply be to the detriment of that candidate's grade.




    Agreed.
    Ok lets forget about all the other arguments against longer time limits.

    Exam is not for deep original thought, thats for any coursework or the classroom!! they're just checking that you have it in you. Think about it like this, if you have a 6 marker chemistry question, they'll just want to know that you know the process itself. So what you do is you just list the main steps of process, not EVERYTHING that myt happen on a molecular level, cos they wont be interested. Also, make sure you're actually answering the question directly instead of meandering around it as this costs LOADS of time.

    Properly making up sophisticated points should have been done before the exam itself and not under timed conditions. You should only include pre-prepared sophisticated points. This is why students cram. You dont write a piece of coursework on an exam paper, they are two different skills!!

    You're supposed to condense your notes and memorise the points; they should all come to ur head one after the other. If you haven't condensed your notes, ready to answer a 30 mark question or so, you haven't prepared for the exam paper properly even if you're a genius at the subject.

    Im not saying dont include sophisticated points just check you actually NEED them, bcoz the ''bread & butter'' points myt be enough, or if they're not, surely the sophisticated points would be worth more, check the markscheme to see what they're looking for.
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    exams usually have plenty of time
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    (Original post by BabushkaMan)
    I think this is the case, at least in regard to writing-based exams like English and History where essays are required. Should the focus not be on whether or not you know the information and can articulate a good argument around the facts, rather than a race to see how fast you can get it all down?

    Surely a fairer system would be to give the student a limited amount of paper. That way everyone is on the same page, so to speak. At the moment, the advantage is had by people who can write quickly and order their thoughts quicker than others.
    And that is part of the skill tested in those exams so no, the time limit is perfectly fair and reasonable. If I can organise my thoughts faster then someone else then I deserve a higher mark.
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    Yes I think that it is unfair. It is really hard to write an essay in such a short amount of time. It means that you cannot put down all that you want to and all that would be applicable in that essay. It means that you may be missing bits out which are important but you just don't have time to. It means that you are rushing it and so therefore it means that you do not do as well in them as you know that you can.
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    Our RE exam is ridiculous. Not enough time at all. I write slowly anyway so I struggle.

    But it teaches to write concisely and not 'waffle'. I've learnt a lot from taking the essay subjects I do.

    However, I would argue in giving a bit more time just so we can improve the quality of our answers without rushing or feeling pressured by the time limit.
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    (Original post by nmudz_009)
    Exam is not for deep original thought, thats for any coursework or the classroom!! they're just checking that you have it in you. Think about it like this, if you have a 6 marker chemistry question, they'll just want to know that you know the process itself. So what you do is you just list the main steps of process, not EVERYTHING that myt happen on a molecular level, cos they wont be interested. Also, make sure you're actually answering the question directly instead of meandering around it as this costs LOADS of time.
    Note I'm not talking about science subjects, where a different sort of understanding is required, but essay subjects.

    I would take your point about coursework but half the essay modules I've done are assessed entirely by written examination. This means your knowledge of 50 readings comes down to 50-minute scribbles in an exam.

    But why shouldn't exams be about original thought? The whole point of university education is to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter and more importantly develop your own beliefs about them. Granted at GCSE we need to test the basics, but these are not the exams I'm talking about.

    Properly making up sophisticated points should have been done before the exam itself and not under timed conditions. You should only include pre-prepared sophisticated points. This is why students cram. You dont write a piece of coursework on an exam paper, they are two different skills!!

    You're supposed to condense your notes and memorise the points; they should all come to ur head one after the other. If you haven't condensed your notes, ready to answer a 30 mark question or so, you haven't prepared for the exam paper properly even if you're a genius at the subject.
    Condensing and memorising different points is nothing more than a requisite for the exam. All these memorised points are just unrelated pieces of information; the exam question is what gives the points meaning. I'm saying that you need adequate time to creatively recombine your knowledge into a string of considered arguments that answer the specifics of the question.

    Im not saying dont include sophisticated points just check you actually NEED them, bcoz the ''bread & butter'' points myt be enough, or if they're not, surely the sophisticated points would be worth more, check the markscheme to see what they're looking for.
    I'll tell you the markscheme my modules use, straight from the LSE website: If you want a First, you have to write something 'that makes the examiner say, "Wow, that's a good point"'

    My argument is that 50 minutes is simply not enough for this. 1h20m would be a lot more reasonable.
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    Oh, thought you were talking bout Alevel papers mate...anyway say I do come up with an essay thts gud enuff for the examiner in 50 mins wud u say I wudnt deserve a first?
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    (Original post by KwamiOdoom)
    I don't know about other subjects but AQA AS Philosophy was ridiculous. It's 1 hour 30 minutes for two 15 mark and two 30 mark questions. It means basically writing furiously from start to finish as opposed to actually thinking about the essay. I understand why there's a time limit, but I think another 30 minutes would make the exam much better. That way, it's not about memorising as many essays as possible so you can just write them all own, students will actually have time to think about the question and answer it properly. That's just what I think anyway.

    AS History was fine as far I was concerned though.
    Do you really believe that is bad? I had to do two 15 mark questions and two 30 mark questions in 75 minutes/1 hour and 15 minutes! At least you got a mark a minute. For mine it is 1.28 marks a minute so three marks in 2 minutes basically.

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Updated: July 2, 2012
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