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    (Original post by grape:))
    Am I the only one here who thinks that the whole point of exams is to test your personal knowledge? And not someone else's... Feel free to tell me otherwise! :confused:
    Some exams, yes, but in many cases (especially at higher levels) exams are there primarily to test the application of that knowledge.
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    (Original post by cowsgoquack)
    yeah, google
    google won't answer your specific calculation/thinking question in physics, which relies on lots of different ideas in physics. it'll give you the ideas, but you'll still have to work out how to apply them. wolfram is a program which will answer every maths question you'd get in an exam if you typed the question into it. it wouldn't just give you the techniques which might be useful, it'll give you a step by step answer to your specific question.
    i don't know if similar sites exist for other subjects (doubt it for physics/chemistry etc, would be very hard to get one that would answer any exam question. certainly not for history: you'd still have the essay to structure, and examiners could make sure that the essay question wasn't one which had been answered online/which was easy to find essays for online.
    so google isn't really the same. wolfram would completely take everything out of the maths exam, making it a copying exercise. how would google do this?sites might not exist which are as helpful as wolfram for other subjects, so google access wouldn't really help for another subject nearly as much as it would for maths with wolfram. for maths, the exam would become pretty much "copy the mark scheme".
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    (Original post by grape:))
    Am I the only one here who thinks that the whole point of exams is to test your personal knowledge? And not someone else's... Feel free to tell me otherwise! :confused:
    Indeed. But exams should test applicable and useful knowledge. Testing my ability to memorise hundreds of functions in the Java programming language isn't assessing useful knowledge - not when, in real life, you'd just bring up a copy of the Java Development Kit library and look it up. As it happens, I've spent the last term being assessed in the first situation, which has made for stupidly easy exams. If they're testing our ability to memorise function names, then they can't spend as much time assessing useful knowledge and skills.

    The problem is getting the best of both worlds: assessing useful, yet tasking knowledge, without allowing for copy-paste/Google'd answers.
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    (Original post by schoolstudent)
    google won't answer your specific calculation/thinking question in physics, which relies on lots of different ideas in physics. it'll give you the ideas, but you'll still have to work out how to apply them. wolfram is a program which will answer every maths question you'd get in an exam if you typed the question into it. it wouldn't just give you the techniques which might be useful, it'll give you a step by step answer to your specific question.
    i don't know if similar sites exist for other subjects (doubt it for physics/chemistry etc, would be very hard to get one that would answer any exam question. certainly not for history: you'd still have the essay to structure, and examiners could make sure that the essay question wasn't one which had been answered online/which was easy to find essays for online.
    so google isn't really the same. wolfram would completely take everything out of the maths exam, making it a copying exercise. how would google do this?sites might not exist which are as helpful as wolfram for other subjects, so google access wouldn't really help for another subject nearly as much as it would for maths with wolfram. for maths, the exam would become pretty much "copy the mark scheme".
    Physics questions even at A-Level typically involve just a few incorporated formulae, which is fair enough, because that's useful knowledge to the student. If the student can go online and bring up all the formulae needed to answer the question, what they're left with is maths - basic numeracy and algebra at that. Something which Wolfram will solve.

    If a History student Googles all the facts and information they need, then, as you say, they're left with the essay structure. Well what's the point in that? They're being assessed on English then, not History.
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    Indeed. But exams should test applicable and useful knowledge. Testing my ability to memorise hundreds of functions in the Java programming language isn't assessing useful knowledge - not when, in real life, you'd just bring up a copy of the Java Development Kit library and look it up. As it happens, I've spent the last term being assessed in the first situation, which has made for stupidly easy exams. If they're testing our ability to memorise function names, then they can't spend as much time assessing useful knowledge and skills.

    The problem is getting the best of both worlds: assessing useful, yet tasking knowledge, without allowing for copy-paste/Google'd answers.
    Actually I see your point there in that instant, fair enough x
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    Physics questions even at A-Level typically involve just a few incorporated formulae, which is fair enough, because that's useful knowledge to the student. If the student can go online and bring up all the formulae needed to answer the question, what they're left with is maths - basic numeracy and algebra at that. Something which Wolfram will solve.

    If a History student Googles all the facts and information they need, then, as you say, they're left with the essay structure. Well what's the point in that? They're being assessed on English then, not History.
    essay structure and arguing your point were meant to be the main challenges in history, at least when i studied it. "it's not what you know, but how you use what you know" was what we were told. people who had impressive knowledge and just spouted it off in a half-relevant way weren't given much credit. even if you knew nothing, you could get a good mark by arguing impressively.

    the challenge in physics isn't the arithmetic/bit where you have all your equations and must rearrange, it's the thinking stage. Like when you first do a rough inclined plane problem with the object being pulled up by a rope which is at an angle to the plane: you have to realise that the frictional force will be reduced/increased by a component of the rope's force perpendicular to the plane. lots of people would work out the up-force parallel to the plane correctly, but the reduction/increase in frictional force is more likely to be missed first time. that bit is the real thinking step and could be messed up by the less good pupils, even with access to equation. once you get your equations together, it is reduced to basic maths, which isn't really the challenge: it's the bit that everyone doing physics at a certain level can do. at least, more basic maths than a maths exam of similar level, so wolfram should be less help/less unfair in physics.

    If the examiners pick a weird enough situation with enough "thinking" tricks to test understanding, you won't find the answer for it on google and the examiners will still have means to test physics thinking ability. the rough inclined plane with rope at angle is probably common enough that you could find the exact approach through google, but a less able student's familiarity with their pre-taught method with rough inclined planes might mean taht they simply don't consider reduction/increase in friction i mentioned, and didn't feel the need to check through google.
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    Seems somehow flawed. First of all, at least in mathematics, you'd need to either block Wolfram Alpha or anything that performs a similar function such as online graph drawing and equation solving software. Second, contrary to popular belief, Wikipedia does contain vast amounts of accurate and detailed knowledge which could potentially elude the point of an exam altogether. Finally, you could just get other people to do it for you. Access to gmail, teachers' addresses, exam solved in the time it takes to copy and paste.
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    A language exam? Surely you could just use a translator or look up answers or something?
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    (Original post by schoolstudent)
    essay structure and arguing your point were meant to be the main challenges in history, at least when i studied it. "it's not what you know, but how you use what you know" was what we were told. people who had impressive knowledge and just spouted it off in a half-relevant way weren't given much credit. even if you knew nothing, you could get a good mark by arguing impressively.

    the challenge in physics isn't the arithmetic/bit where you have all your equations and must rearrange, it's the thinking stage. Like when you first do a rough inclined plane problem with the object being pulled up by a rope which is at an angle to the plane: you have to realise that the frictional force will be reduced/increased by a component of the rope's force perpendicular to the plane. lots of people would work out the up-force parallel to the plane correctly, but the reduction/increase in frictional force is more likely to be missed first time. that bit is the real thinking step and could be messed up by the less good pupils, even with access to equation. once you get your equations together, it is reduced to basic maths, which isn't really the challenge: it's the bit that everyone doing physics at a certain level can do. at least, more basic maths than a maths exam of similar level, so wolfram should be less help/less unfair in physics.

    If the examiners pick a weird enough situation with enough "thinking" tricks to test understanding, you won't find the answer for it on google and the examiners will still have means to test physics thinking ability. the rough inclined plane with rope at angle is probably common enough that you could find the exact approach through google, but a less able student's familiarity with their pre-taught method with rough inclined planes might mean taht they simply don't consider reduction/increase in friction i mentioned, and didn't feel the need to check through google.
    Then perhaps we need to change what we're teaching in our History lessons. Teaching people to write essays? What a load of tosh. If I'm looking to employ somebody to work at a WWII museum part time, I want them to know about the war, not about the correct use of a semi-colon and paragraphing. It's barely relevant to History, and certainly not the primary focus, or at least it shouldn't be, not at all.

    Alright, let's assume that what you say is correct. You can find all of that information on the Internet and again, it will break it down into small chunk of walk-throughs, and then Wolfram (or your bog-standard Casio FX calculator) can do the rest. It takes the Physics out of Physics. This is why, if we're to use the Internet, I believe we'd have to completely re-assess what we're going to test our students on. We can't test them on something which they can find on the Internet and then solve using another subject, because they're not displaying ability in the subject which they're being assessed on.

    I agree with the last part. Thing is, I agree that we should give students tasking questions, whether they have access to the Internet or not. Students whine, moan and complain when they're given abstract or challenging questions - look at the recent Biology paper situation. There was sod all wrong with that paper but students complained. We need to stop falling into this pressure and assess students properly. We need to assess logic, reasoning and knowledge, not the ability to memorise a specification and spew it back out in sentence form.
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    (Original post by grape:))
    Am I the only one here who thinks that the whole point of exams is to test your personal knowledge? And not someone else's... Feel free to tell me otherwise! :confused:
    One thing that the video mentioned was ability to research so I guess that is quite important too.

    I don't know, personally I'd rather take a pen and paper test but I guess this would be interesting.
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    (Original post by thetopnotch)
    One thing that the video mentioned was ability to research so I guess that is quite important too.

    I don't know, personally I'd rather take a pen and paper test but I guess this would be interesting.
    Yeh, I guess that's a fair point
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    They already do it in the business school of my uni. I think its ridiculous, its too easy to abuse. Do the exam with a textbook on your lap.
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    Research is an important skill that others considerer useful. If you are in a job, at times you may be expected to go and do some research of your own, as your employer probably isn't going to sit down and teach you it. I actually think a lot of exams only test the short-term memory.
    I think this should only be applied to certain exams. I wouldn't want to have a doctor treat me if he passed a bunch of exams by using Google, for example. It could be useful for subjects like English and History, though, since a lot of information needs to be remembered for subjects such as those.

    It's stuff like this that provokes people to claim that 'exams are easy'.
 
 
 
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