Why are exams timed? Watch

TheMagicalConch
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What is the logical reasoning behind timed exams? In a law exam for example you are given x amount of restricted time to answer y amount of questions. Why are students not asked to 'finish when you have done all that you believe you can'.

If the reasoning is to test your ability to work fast in relation to the pressures of modern work then why are students disallowed internet access, resource access etc, which are all readily available to most people and nearly all workplaces. Furthermore I find most of the time restraints are simply plain unreasonable.

I just always find myself with the knowlege retained but a deficit in the amound of time allotted to me; I know the content but loose marks because of arbitraty time restraints.

Furhter insight would be appreciated.
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A321
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(Original post by TheMagicalConch)
I just always find myself with the knowlege retained but a deficit in the amound of time allotted to me; I know the content but loose marks because of arbitraty time restraints. .
You might be wasting time by putting unnecessary information? I know I lost time trying to put every single thing I knew and writing things like introductions. Until a lecturer said they dont even give marks for intros and it's only the main content that counts. Without time limits students would probably go on and on!

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VannR
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The limited time in exams is not created for your benefit. It is obvious that it would make sense to give students as much time as is required to answer the questions to the best of their ability, especially for essay-based subjects (perhaps we could say that you have to finish the paper on that day). There are time limits on the exams for the sake of the administration costs of the exams.

If they gave everybody all day to finish an exam paper, adjudicators would have to be present in the exam room all day: students may be doing different papers; subjects with speaking and listening components would have to be held in different rooms etc. This all results in a very costly setup for schools and examining boards to administer, and thus, they have found what they believe to be a compromise.

The time allocated to a particular exam is not a challenge clock: the time is not set for you to race against. Instead, it is a time that has been shown statistically to be an average amount of time required to complete the paper. By giving you this average amount of time, they save themselves the administration nightmare that would be catering for exams with open-ended time limits, whilst also encouraging a degree of standardisation across the assessment.
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River85
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(Original post by TheMagicalConch)
What is the logical reasoning behind timed exams? In a law exam for example you are given x amount of restricted time to answer y amount of questions. Why are students not asked to 'finish when you have done all that you believe you can'.

If the reasoning is to test your ability to work fast in relation to the pressures of modern work then why are students disallowed internet access, resource access etc, which are all readily available to most people and nearly all workplaces. Furthermore I find most of the time restraints are simply plain unreasonable.

I just always find myself with the knowlege retained but a deficit in the amound of time allotted to me; I know the content but loose marks because of arbitraty time restraints.

Furhter insight would be appreciated.
For sake of convenience and efficiency on behalf of those who administer the exams.

A long time ago exams were typically oral rather than written. However, written exams were introduced as it's far easier, cheaper and quicker, to get as many students as possible in one room, taking the same exam at the exact same time, and in, say two or three hours than it would be were exams still oral, particularly if not timed.
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james22
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One good reason for not giving you access to the internet and books is because then students would not revise as they would inncorrectly think taht they have plenty of time to just look it up.
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Genius Guy
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(Original post by TheMagicalConch)
What is the logical reasoning behind timed exams? In a law exam for example you are given x amount of restricted time to answer y amount of questions. Why are students not asked to 'finish when you have done all that you believe you can'.

If the reasoning is to test your ability to work fast in relation to the pressures of modern work then why are students disallowed internet access, resource access etc, which are all readily available to most people and nearly all workplaces. Furthermore I find most of the time restraints are simply plain unreasonable.

I just always find myself with the knowlege retained but a deficit in the amound of time allotted to me; I know the content but loose marks because of arbitraty time restraints.

Furhter insight would be appreciated.
It's most probably to put the students under pressure. (Stupid if you ask me:erm:)
Or if you had unlimited time, then you could easily cheat.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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Because some people would sit there all day and night, and it wouldn't be fair not to let them finish, so you'd have to staff exam centres for weeks after the start of each exam.
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Genius Guy
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
Because some people would sit there all day and night, and it wouldn't be fair not to let them finish, so you'd have to staff exam centres for weeks after the start of each exam.
That is also true...
But "weeks and weeks"? I would just say hours and hours.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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(Original post by Genius Guy)
That is also true...
But "weeks and weeks"? I would just say hours and hours.
Well yes, I was exaggerating somewhat.

But once you pass a couple of hours people would need toilet breaks, food breaks etc. So to be honest it's just not practical, healthy or safe to be in controlled conditions for more than a few hours.
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TheMagicalConch
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Is it not a poor indictment of our education system (and most others) that students who have the knowledge to excel are prevented from doing so by administration costs?

Does it not place false emphasis on redundant timing skills over actual knowledge of the subject?

It simply frustrates me when there are questions such as 'What is democracy?' worth insignificant marks, are completely ambiguous and allude to an answer disproportionate to the amount of time given.
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Larissa14
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(Original post by TheMagicalConch)
What is the logical reasoning behind timed exams? In a law exam for example you are given x amount of restricted time to answer y amount of questions. Why are students not asked to 'finish when you have done all that you believe you can'.

If the reasoning is to test your ability to work fast in relation to the pressures of modern work then why are students disallowed internet access, resource access etc, which are all readily available to most people and nearly all workplaces. Furthermore I find most of the time restraints are simply plain unreasonable.

I just always find myself with the knowlege retained but a deficit in the amound of time allotted to me; I know the content but loose marks because of arbitraty time restraints.

Furhter insight would be appreciated.
i always here at school "don't rush, take your time" and things like "better take your time and do it properly than rush and make it mess" but I don't understand , you have to rush In exams?.
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doodle_333
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I never really understood why people are so opposed to time limits, I have never lost out on marks in an exam because I ran out of time, time management, fast recall and being concise are all important skills - I thought that 'oh in my career I will never have to immediately remember a theory I can go research it' but actually, no, if I am looking at some research data it interrupts both mine and colleagues flow to go and research possible parallels as opposed to saying 'oh yes that reminds me of X theory'... when I am working in my job I need to remember rules, regulations, good working practice, various things I have learnt about different conditions etc... so while exams aren't a perfect test of understanding in many subjects they aren't as bad as some say and they test other important skills as well, an employer doesn't want someone who can do a task well given infinite time, they want someone who can accomplish something in a set time frame, manage their time on the task accordingly and who can learn to work with good 'technique' - someone who has decent exam technique SHOULD NOT struggle for time (unless they have a disability which they should then be given extra time for anyway)
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SmaugTheTerrible
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Its a system that works and despite its flaws, there are no viable alternative.
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SnoochToTheBooch
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I wonder the same thing. It should be about testing your understanding of the material and I don't get why it needs to be a situation where you cannot pause for breath. It makes people panic and **** things up. It wouldn't need to be an unlimited time, just a reasonable bit more, eg. turning a 2 hour exam into a 3 hour one.
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lerjj
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For essays it's probably just so you have a guideline length and so the markers don't have to read your 16,000 word As thesis. The reason you can't access the internet is because they do want you to actually know some stuff, not just google it. But a wi-fi allowed exam would be a sensible idea, as would a co-operative exam where you are allowed to talk.
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sdotd
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It tests how you work in timed conditions
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AdamCee
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Well it's not just about doing the questions but also doing it within the time given to you.

I had my English lit mock today and what I would have given for an extra half hour I cannot describe, but the idea isn't that I write 8 sides, it's that I get an hour and a half of good points to get the most marks.

Similar in business - for our 9 markers I could write 2 sides of A4 if I was given the time to get max marks but, it's supposed to take you 10 minutes to write.

I think it's more of a way of getting people to work on their exam technique, with all the time in the world available to you, you haven't got to be as concise and to the point
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username1238344
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I know that time limits are there for good reason, though I do think they should be extended for certain subjects. With my Biology exams I have very little trouble finishing within the time limit. Psychology, however, is another matter.

I find AQA Psychology B near impossible to finish within the time limit. I don't waste time thinking or having to remember information as I tend to know it by heart. Time isn't wasted deciding how to lay my writing out either. I simply can't write quick enough. I'm scribbling it down as fast as I can but the time given just isn't enough.
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chanelleyy
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I'd love it if the time limit for aqa English language gcses gets raised before next year it sucks because I know i'm capable of an a but in all the mocks i have had I just can't get my timing right and end up with D's, whereas in my maths exams I always finish with around half an hour to go
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Edminzodo
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So examiners don't have to read massively long essays?

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