Are exams the best way to measure performance?

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John_Boi
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#1
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I know coming up with an alternative would be difficult but was just wondering peoples' thoughts on the topic..
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donutellme
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They are the best way. That doesn't mean they're a good way.

Maths exams are perhaps the best way to test Maths (maybe remove the time limit?), but others are not so good.
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Mockery
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It is an utterly dreadful means of quantifying an individual's capabilities.
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Advice Guru
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It's more a memory test. The best way would be open book examination, but even then people write stuff without understanding it.
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facetiousx
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The finnish education system shows that standardised exams doesn't necessarily facilitate performance. Then again if you look at the east asian countries who are doing the best in the world in terms of exams have a growing economy to show for it.

For me personally they don't really measure performance, but they do measure motivation and commitment, certainly more so the higher you get into education. Its whether people are motivated enough to memorise trivial and sometimes pointless information.

Btw...an alternative wouldn't be difficult, it would actually be cheaper for the government (the finnish education system)
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liviia
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I agree its a memory game, especially gcse's. Regular assessment would be a better option i feel, rather than lots of big exams. However I'm doing maths A-Level and i think exams are the best option for this.
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easyastau
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It depends on the person and the subject.

Just because one person can do well in an exam doesn't mean they are any better than someone who doesn't. It does depend on the subject as well though because, for example, I know for a fact my sister is excellent at looking after kids and anything to do with kids but she couldn't pass an exam in childcare. Some people a really good at creative writing but can't pass English exams. But then, for a subject like maths, if you can solve a maths problem anywhere then you can do it in an exam so, in that context, exams are the best way of testing people's capabilities.

I personally think that, for jobs such as childcare, construction, decoration etc. people shouldn't have to sit an exam or have a certificate to get the job because it's about personality and practical skills rather than knowledge. However, for jobs in the sciences, humanities etc. exams are an important proof of knowledge!
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Theflyingbarney
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They're a pretty crap way of assessing personal competence, especially since in their current incarnations they're massively based around memorisation which in the age of Google is pretty much unnecessary. However, there's not really much of a practical way to assess people that would work better - coursework is the obvious alternative, but there would be massive problems with plagiarism (thanks in no small part to the aforementioned Google!).

A better idea might be, at least at the upper echelons of education i.e. A-levels and degrees etc, to focus exams less on memorising and applying facts, and more on understanding arguments and being able to extrapolate your reasoning to new and unfamiliar situations. In this day and age, knowledge is far less important than understanding and creativity, in my opinion.

So yeah, exams as they are are a bit naff, but it'd be difficult to come up with an entirely separate alternative; however there is room to improve on what we choose to examine on.
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fajitamunch
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(Original post by facetiousx)
The finnish education system shows that standardised exams doesn't necessarily facilitate performance. Then again if you look at the east asian countries who are doing the best in the world in terms of exams have a growing economy to show for it.


For me personally they don't really measure performance, but they do measure motivation and commitment, certainly more so the higher you get into education. Its whether people are motivated enough to memorise trivial and sometimes pointless information.

Btw...an alternative wouldn't be difficult, it would actually be cheaper for the government (the finnish education system)
Their academic performance has little to do with their economy. All the smart people go to university abroad lol, thats why there's been a huge influx of Chinese people on Britain lately. Their economy grows because of their cheap labour and complete disregard for copyright laws.
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John_Boi
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Some people don't work well under the pressure of exams and the pressure affects their performance negatively. Maybe more assessments that are averaged through out the year would be better?
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facetiousx
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(Original post by fajitamunch)
Their academic performance has little to do with their economy. All the smart people go to university abroad lol, thats why there's been a huge influx of Chinese people on Britain lately. Their economy grows because of their cheap labour and complete disregard for copyright laws.
I guess, but I wouldn't exactly say their economy is entirely based on that. They're modernising at a really fast pace and thats partly linked to education, s'pose their population size helps too.

Anyway this is a really complex topic:^_^: kinda veering off the point I was trying to make aha
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