Are exams really an effective way of judging academic capability? Watch

This discussion is closed.
pinkypants
Badges: 0
#21
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#21
(Original post by The Ace is Back)
Well then what's the point in having interviews? Once you find out someone has half a brain, you're then going to want to find out some other things about your potential employee are you not?
Of course, but one would be nothing without the other.
Don't forget, however, that an employer doesn't get a chance to meet you for an interview until they have selected you, the basis for that decision being how effectively you have sold yourself and your qualifications to them. Hence we're back at exam results.
0
Bismarck
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#22
Report 13 years ago
#22
(Original post by pinkypants)
So I suppose it's just a common case of survival of the fittest then.
Do you want people who are mediocre to get ahead instead?

(Original post by The Ace is Back)
Grades might show that a person is clever/intelligent, but not that he/she will necessarily work hard or even give a damn about the work they're applying for. The thread title is 'Are exams really an effective way of judging academic capability?', and I would say the answer is yes, in most cases. And in any case, you need some vague intelligence to be able to 'play the system'. Employers could use this to judge someone's academic capability certainly, but not to judge whether or not they will be suited to the job - that's where interviews come in.
If the person isn't intelligent, he wouldn't get hired regardless of their dedication to this position. Good grades do not mean that someone will be a good employee; it merely means that the person is capable of being a good employee.

And if the point you're driving at is that the pressure you encounter in doing an exam is equal to that of giving a presentation to your multi-millionaire boss on how his company his doing, I would care to disagree - that is a whole new ball game.
If someone can't handle the former, they're certainly not going to be able to handle the latter.
0
Champagne Breakfast
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#23
Report 13 years ago
#23
(Original post by pinkypants)
Of course, but one would be nothing without the other.
Don't forget, however, that an employer doesn't get a chance to meet you for an interview until they have selected you, the basis for that decision being how effectively you have sold yourself and your qualifications to them. Hence we're back at exam results.
Well my viewpoint, as I stated earlier, is that exams are a fairly good way of judging intelligence - either through the fact that you have to be intelligent enough to be able to do what the examiner wants and to almost 'play the system', or that you can get your head around the content in exams. I can't really think of a fairer way to judge ability than exams, other than as I already said, interview, which as you pointed out, only comes after the exam results have been looked at. Exams + coursework, what we currently have, seems the ideal solution - maybe the exams we have in England could be altered to be more judging of academic capability, for example History GCSE could be less used to test factual knowledge as opposed to linking factual knowledge etc. Otherwise I would say there is nothing wrong with having exams the way they are, a mixed of timed work and a mix of non-timed work. If you weren't intelligent enough to have studied hard for them and to have done enough work, your loss.
0
Champagne Breakfast
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#24
Report 13 years ago
#24
(Original post by Bismarck)
If the person isn't intelligent, he wouldn't get hired regardless of their dedication to this position. Good grades do not mean that someone will be a good employee; it merely means that the person is capable of being a good employee.
What can I say? I agree with you.. what I was saying was that simply because you were clever/intelligent enough to have done well in your exams doesn't necessarily mean you will be suited to the job, which is where the interview comes in.

(Original post by Bismarck)
If someone can't handle the former, they're certainly not going to be able to handle the latter.
That's true, but just because somebody can handle the former, doesn't necessarily mean he is going to be able to handle the latter, and as such you'll again need the intervew to be in the best position to judge a candidate's potential, and cannot merely rely on the fact that he was able to perform under timed conditions in an exam to say that he is best suited to the job.
0
pinkypants
Badges: 0
#25
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#25
(Original post by Bismarck)
Do you want people who are mediocre to get ahead instead?
No, but maybe it'd be an idea to make exams less about pot luck and give people a more equal opportunity? That way, the truly talented and not 'mediocre' candidates would be able to stand out anyway.
0
Bismarck
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#26
Report 13 years ago
#26
(Original post by The Ace is Back)
That's true, but just because somebody can handle the former, doesn't necessarily mean he is going to be able to handle the latter, and as such you'll again need the intervew to be in the best position to judge a candidate's potential, and cannot merely rely on the fact that he was able to perform under timed conditions in an exam to say that he is best suited to the job.
The problem is narrowing down the field of candidates to a low enough number of potential employees for you to be able to judge their dedication on an individual basis. If you have no way of narrowing down the field, you won't have the time to interview everyone. And frankly, interviews are overrated. The only way to see if someone can do a certain job is to have them work on it. If they aren't up to it, they'll get fired, especially if they have a position with a lot of responsibility.

(Original post by pinkypants)
No, but maybe it'd be an idea to make exams less about pot luck and give people a more equal opportunity? That way, the truly talented and not 'mediocre' candidates would be able to stand out anyway.
How could you say that exams are about luck when the same people constistently either do well or badly on them? I certainly don't think I got lucky that I got 35 As out of the 40 classes I took in uni. And I hope the people who consistently got Cs don't think that they were unlucky. Luck can determine one or two grades, but certainly not most or all of them.
0
pinkypants
Badges: 0
#27
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#27
(Original post by Bismarck)

How could you say that exams are about luck when the same people constistently either do well or badly on them? I certainly don't think I got lucky that I got 35 As out of the 40 classes I took in uni. And I hope the people who consistently got Cs don't think that they were unlucky. Luck can determine one or two grades, but certainly not most or all of them.
Hmm... but you have to agree a lot of the process is going into an exam hoping the topics that come up are your strong ones.
But then again, I'm just talking crap now because it shouldn't matter to someone who knows the material what actually comes up on the final exam as long as they're prepared and capable of using exam skills. Yeah, I guess if you've got both the information and the intelligence to work the system you are deserving of whatever grade you get.

( My excuse is it's 6am. )
0
Bismarck
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#28
Report 13 years ago
#28
(Original post by pinkypants)
Hmm... but you have to agree a lot of the process is going into an exam hoping the topics that come up are your strong ones.
Alternately, you could learn all the topics, so you wouldn't have to worry abou this. From personal experience, the classes where I had to rely on luck are the classes that I didn't do too well in. As I mentioned, you can get lucky or unlucky every once in a while, but what separates the top students from the mediocre ones is having the ability to leave Lady Luck by the wayside.

But then again, I'm just talking crap now because it shouldn't matter to someone who knows the material what actually comes up on the final exam as long as they're prepared and capable of using exam skills. Yeah, I guess if you've got both the information and the intelligence to work the system you are deserving of whatever grade you get.
Exactly. Most of the people who complain about the importance of exams are the ones who aren't bright enough to pass them.

( My excuse is it's 6am. )
Only 1 AM here and the Yankees are winning (not that a Brit would understand :p: ).
0
pinkypants
Badges: 0
#29
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#29
(Original post by Bismarck)
Alternately, you could learn all the topics, so you wouldn't have to worry abou this. From personal experience, the classes where I had to rely on luck are the classes that I didn't do too well in. As I mentioned, you can get lucky or unlucky every once in a while, but what separates the top students from the mediocre ones is having the ability to leave Lady Luck by the wayside.
It's just so much effort to thoroughly prepare for exams. I think my approach to exams is one day going to bite me in the ass. Badly.

(Original post by Bismarck)
Only 1 AM here and the Yankees are winning (not that a Brit would understand :p: ).
They're a baseball team, right?

Insomnia is the devil's working...
0
Bismarck
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#30
Report 13 years ago
#30
(Original post by pinkypants)
It's just so much effort to thoroughly prepare for exams. I think my approach to exams is one day going to bite me in the ass. Badly.
That's what I used to think. My non-existent studying didn't keep me from consistently getting the highest grades in my classes though. I think the key is showing up to class and trying to understand what the professor is saying. If you do that much, if you're fairly smart, the rest will take care of itself.

They're a baseball team, right?
Yep. Just won. Now I can go to sleep in a good mood.

Insomnia is the devil's working...
I thought you just woke up really early. :eek:
0
Gaz031
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#31
Report 13 years ago
#31
In relation to earlier comments - I think we need less coursework, not more.
0
an Siarach
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#32
Report 13 years ago
#32
They are not perfect but they are the best method of assessing pupils fairly and en masse.
0
Bexxxx
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#33
Report 13 years ago
#33
My politics teacher despised the education system, as he felt students were being taught to pass the exam, not taught the subject.

I think exams are slightly unfair too, as usually those with the higher marks are those with the best memories.
0
Howard
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#34
Report 13 years ago
#34
Apparently not. I understand that the GCSE in Leisure and Tourism poses such teasers as:

Name three modes of transport that a tourist can use to travel in London?

Fackin hell. :rolleyes:
0
saz_1989
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#35
Report 13 years ago
#35
Perhaps if everyone worked equally hard, then they'd be good indicators of academic ability, but I know I didn't work as hard as my friends. So if we'd worked at the same pace, then the grades would have been different.
0
Manatee
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#36
Report 13 years ago
#36
(Original post by Howard)
Apparently not. I understand that the GCSE in Leisure and Tourism poses such teasers as:

Name three modes of transport that a tourist can use to travel in London?

Fackin hell. :rolleyes:
There's a GCSE in Leisure and Tourism? I had no idea...
0
Bismarck
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#37
Report 13 years ago
#37
(Original post by Lauren)
Perhaps if everyone worked equally hard, then they'd be good indicators of academic ability, but I know I didn't work as hard as my friends. So if we'd worked at the same pace, then the grades would have been different.
What makes you think that people work equally hard in university or in the business world?
0
milady
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#38
Report 13 years ago
#38
Exams are the best way to test people. Too bad if it's stressful, etc, because if someone can't cope with exams, they won't be able to cope in real life.

And it's much better than assignments, projects, etc. With assignments, there is the inevitability that some people will get a lot of help with their assignments, that some people will plagiarise, and even that they will get someone else to do it for them. Not exactly indicative of their academic ability.

Additionally there is the fact that some people will have more time than others to work on the assignment (eg. one person may be doing a greater number of challenging subjects). Some people don't spend all their time working on projects. They may do extracurricular activities like sport, charity, etc. Why punish someone for having a well-rounded life?

In an exam, everyone gets the same conditions, the same amount of time to do it, etc. It's much fairer, and, imo, better.
0
milady
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#39
Report 13 years ago
#39
(Original post by Lauren)
Perhaps if everyone worked equally hard, then they'd be good indicators of academic ability, but I know I didn't work as hard as my friends. So if we'd worked at the same pace, then the grades would have been different.
If everyone worked equally hard it would be an indicator of talent but I don't think it would assess ability.
Being hard-working, I think, is an important factor in ability at anything, and something just as valuable as, for instance, a natural flair for music, maths, etc.
0
black_mamba
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#40
Report 13 years ago
#40
I agree that exams are an excellent way of highlighting how hard a student is prepared to work at revision as well as showing off their academic knowledge. Both are significant traits needed for successful employment (amongst others).

I'm all for exams, I don't know about the 'system being flawless' part but I think I'd shoot myself if more coursework was introduced!
0
X
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Were you ever put in isolation at school?

Yes (162)
26.69%
No (445)
73.31%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise