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    (Original post by bubblegumcat)
    i hate the whole idea of tests, because now it's all about who gets the best grades and not about gaining knowledge....but then how else are we gonna know if a child is learning or not?
    Ask them? Speak to them? Interview them? Have a discussion about thoughts and opinions based on knowledge. It's how Oxford and Cambridge decide who gets in...
    (Original post by srdavison123)
    It's not the assessment of students throughout education that is the problem. It is the intensity and frequency of assessments that is the issue. Yes students need to be assessed, and for good reason. Yet, the UK as a prime example, trying to keep up with nations such as Korea & China by turning the education system into an exam factory system. This causes more harm than good in many cases. Not to mention the reforms to education made by the Conservative government since they came back to power in 2010 which have increased the pressure on students.
    I agree to much of this. I would add that we started the "fast food education" model about 2-300 years ago, but appreciate that the international competition doesn't help.

    My question is this, what is the good reason that they need to be assessed?:holmes:

    (Original post by danielwinstanley)
    To check whether a student is being taught and is learning - e.g. If a doctor couldn't do an exam, would you feel confident in their abilities? No.
    There are other methods to do that (see above). Does a surgeon perform operations at GCSE? No. Theory based exam. Does a future GP diagnose patients at A Level? No. Theory-based exam.

    To me, that doesn't seem helpful.

    (Original post by Wanderlust96)
    I think the issue here is that I disagree with that point at it's core. Am I right to assume that by ranking you mean high scorers being more valuable in the eyes of the government? (just want to clear this up before I continue with my perspective on this)
    No. I was thinking of ranking as the government grading students, which allows them to feel superior/inferior to others since they are all measured on the same scale. If Finland don't do it, why do we?
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Ask them? Speak to them? Interview them? Have a discussion about thoughts and opinions based on knowledge. It's how Oxford and Cambridge decide who gets in...
    I agree to much of this. I would add that we started the "fast food education" model about 2-300 years ago, but appreciate that the international competition doesn't help.

    My question is this, what is the good reason that they need to be assessed?:holmes:

    There are other methods to do that (see above). Does a surgeon perform operations at GCSE? No. Theory based exam. Does a future GP diagnose patients at A Level? No. Theory-based exam.

    To me, that doesn't seem helpful.

    No. I was thinking of ranking as the government grading students, which allows them to feel superior/inferior to others since they are all measured on the same scale. If Finland don't do it, why do we?
    You missed the bit where Oxford and Cambridge have entry requirements of A*...provided by a test:
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    (Original post by danielwinstanley)
    You missed the bit where Oxford and Cambridge have entry requirements of A*...provided by a test:
    But they still interview almost every candidate. Why?
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    But they still interview almost every candidate. Why?
    To get the best of the best, the best being those who have learnt the info and got the A* in their tests.
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    (Original post by spidle)
    To get the best of the best, the best being those who have learnt the info and got the A* in their tests.
    :nah:

    They do the interview to see the substance of the people behind the test. There are people with far better results history and predictions than me, who didn't get an offer and I did.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    No. I was thinking of ranking as the government grading students, which allows them to feel superior/inferior to others since they are all measured on the same scale. If Finland don't do it, why do we?
    Right, but isn't it fair to say that everyone has strengths and weaknesses? For instance, getting a crappy grade in English Lit might suck, but maybe that individual has more of an aptitude for the sciences. Grades help a student determine which career path is best for them. I don't, even for a second, think that the government's intention is to make students feel superior or inferior. But people excel in different areas and grading helps us to realise this.

    It would not be sensible for somebody who struggles with math to become an accountant, or a data analyst. Say we spare this persons feeling's, don't grade them, don't let them know they have below average attainment in this field, when they go out to find work they will be passed over for more skilled accountants/analysers. No one is going to hire an unqualified worker over a more capable one just to spare an individual's feelings in the real world.

    Besides, I thought Finland had a five point grading system.
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    (Original post by Wanderlust96)
    Right, but isn't it fair to say that everyone has strengths and weaknesses? For instance, getting a crappy grade in English Lit might suck, but maybe that individual has more of an aptitude for the sciences. Grades help a student determine which career path is best for them. I don't, even for a second, think that the government's intention is to make students feel superior or inferior. But people excel in different areas and grading helps us to realise this.

    It would not be sensible for somebody who struggles with math to become an accountant, or a data analyst. Say we spare this persons feeling's, don't grade them, don't let them know they have below average attainment in this field, when they go out to find work they will be passed over for more skilled accountants/analysers. No one is going to hire an unqualified worker over a more capable one just to spare an individual's feelings in the real world.

    Besides, I thought Finland had a five point grading system.
    That is fair to say. But what your point assumes is that there are qualifications and grades for everyone's strength. There are not many schools offering level 4 courses in psychology for instance, less in philosophy. And while there might be some who do, it is difficult to anticipate this passion when your child is 11 and you're deciding the school. So that child can go through education and completely by-pass their passion. Then if all their grades are bad because they didn't enjoy those subjects that student can then become demoralised.

    I am pretty sure that they would know if they weren't very good at maths. And if intuition isn't enough, I am sure teachers would advise against it.

    They do not have national standardised tests.
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    Is there any justification for using normalised grades (as opposed to criterion) grades in exams at school? O Levels used normalised grades until the early 1980s in order to ration the number of A and B grades awarded. It can be argued that normalised grades are deliberately designed to fail students in a polite way.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    That is fair to say. But what your point assumes is that there are qualifications and grades for everyone's strength. There are not many schools offering level 4 courses in psychology for instance, less in philosophy. And while there might be some who do, it is difficult to anticipate this passion when your child is 11 and you're deciding the school. So that child can go through education and completely by-pass their passion. Then if all their grades are bad because they didn't enjoy those subjects that student can then become demoralised.

    I am pretty sure that they would know if they weren't very good at maths. And if intuition isn't enough, I am sure teachers would advise against it.

    They do not have national standardised tests.
    Oh don't get me wrong, I know there aren't qualifications for everyone' strengths. My younger brother hated school, was put in bottom sets for everything and then left without a GCSE to his name. He is now a fitness instructor. In this instance, I feel that grading helps determine which students would be better suited to vocational courses, but I didn't claim the education system was perfect nor did I assume that there are qualifications to fit everyone's strength.

    Nonetheless, the title to this thread is 'do tests ruin the Education system' and my answer to that would be no. Some students feeling upset over low grades doesn't eclipse the students who come from *****y backgrounds, work their asses off and then manage to get out of those backgrounds because of the grades they have to show for it (me included).

    Besides, I don't think doing away with tests is enough to stop the demoralisation of children. Bullying and poor teaching standards will continue to take care of that. Perhaps the answer is to make it more clear to students, before handing out their grades, that a letter on a piece of paper doesn't determine their personal worth.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Ask them? Speak to them? Interview them? Have a discussion about thoughts and opinions based on knowledge. It's how Oxford and Cambridge decide who gets in...
    But why would an interview be the best way to assess someone? I would prefer to do a test rather than an interview because I get very nervous in interviews and can't think straight. Oxbridge also use admission tests as well as A levels, so no, interviews aren't the only way they decide who to let in.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Does a surgeon perform operations at GCSE? No. Theory based exam. Does a future GP diagnose patients at A Level? No. Theory-based exam.
    Do you expect a 16 year old to carry out surgery? This seems to be a bit blown out of proportion. This would be far too advanced at this stage of the process. I know your saying that in a real life job you don't sit an exam, but the knowledge and skills that are developed throughout learning process are required and exams can test this e.g. a scenario could be given where a patient has particular problems - yes, you could assess this through 'roleplay' but exams are likely to be cheaper, less time consuming and still provide a good enough estimate of someones ability.
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    afaik Finland has only produced 5 Nobel Laureates.... maybe if they abandoned their ditsy folklorique "education" system they could do better.

    smh.
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    Tests shouldn't be eradicated but be changed. I'm doing maths so I can suggest some ideas regarding it.

    There shouldn't be fixed grades that every student should sit through. Throughout years 7-13, there should be specific optional modules that need to be completed like real analysis, theory of polynomials, number theory each at different level of difficulties. Test should be used but stupid problems like 'Find the roots of x^2 + x + 1' should be used. Instead, more thoughtful problems should be used like easier versions of Olympiad problems. Also, non-test coursework like modelling and strategics for games should be used for testing.

    IGCSEs and even A levels barely make you think.
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    It could also be argued that sports trophies ruin the education system. It can be disheartening for students who aren't good at sports to watch sporty kids being awarded a trophy in assembly whilst at the same time there are no awards for any talents that they have.

    I'm not trying to imply that all must have prizes and trophies. It's the way that most British schools are organised around a system where only a very limited array of talents are awarded handsomely. Students that are good at STEM would be better off going to school in Iran where there are far more prizes and awards for talented kids with knowledge and ability above the curriculum for their year group than there is in most British schools.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    It could also be argued that sports trophies ruin the education system. It can be disheartening for students who aren't good at sports to watch sporty kids being awarded a trophy in assembly whilst at the same time there are no awards for any talents that they have.

    I'm not trying to imply that all must have prizes and trophies. It's the way that most British schools are organised around a system where only a very limited array of talents are awarded handsomely. Students that are good at STEM would be better off going to school in Iran where there are far more prizes and awards for talented kids with knowledge and ability above the curriculum for their year group than there is in most British schools.
    By "handsomely" you mean a plastic trophy for winning the year 10 football tournament? That's hardly a prize.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    :nah:

    They do the interview to see the substance of the people behind the test. There are people with far better results history and predictions than me, who didn't get an offer and I did.
    Congrats on your offer!

    I assume you did get good grades though. I agree that tests cannot truly determine a students ability but I think it is the best way to find the overall ability (recall info, analysis, etc). The tests also provide a way to set the classes so people of similar abilities are in the same class.
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    (Original post by Cubone-r)
    By "handsomely" you mean a plastic trophy for winning the year 10 football tournament? That's hardly a prize.
    The trophies given to kids at my schools were made of metal and marble.

    They might be little more than gaudy ornaments that gather dust on window sills but most kids find winning a trophy more enjoyable than a sticker for getting 10 out of 10 in a spelling or times tables test even if it's made out of plastic.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    The trophies given to kids at my schools were made of metal and marble.

    They might be little more than gaudy ornaments that gather dust on window sills but most kids find winning a trophy more enjoyable than a sticker for getting 10 out of 10 in a spelling or times tables test even if it's made out of plastic.
    Someone's a bit salty for not getting a trophy for winning the spelling bee
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    I think the manner in which society goes about testing children today is terrible. The process of learning all this content, most of which is irrelevant to life as an adult or does not interest the student in the slightest, and forcing students of different capabilities and learning styles to be tested in the same way (usually through a written paper in a hall) from which they will receive a grade that as a young person you feel defines your worth which could be either really low or really high. This gives some the false impression that they're better than others and some the idea that they're not good enough and almost knocks their confidence and ambition to want to succeed in life.

    To put this into perspective as Einstein said "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, It will live its whole life believing that it is stupid".

    We are all so different and learn in different ways and I think it is so wrong that we are all tested by the same means and some made to think they are stupid because they couldn't solve some stupid complex Maths equation (
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    (Original post by spidle)
    Congrats on your offer!

    I assume you did get good grades though. I agree that tests cannot truly determine a students ability but I think it is the best way to find the overall ability (recall info, analysis, etc). The tests also provide a way to set the classes so people of similar abilities are in the same class.
    I am waiting on my A Level grades but my GCSEs are poor for Oxbridge standards: 3A*s, 5As, 2Bs

    Didn't do AS.
    (Original post by djrson)
    I think the manner in which society goes about testing children today is terrible. The process of learning all this content, most of which is irrelevant to life as an adult or does not interest the student in the slightest, and forcing students of different capabilities and learning styles to be tested in the same way (usually through a written paper in a hall) from which they will receive a grade that as a young person you feel defines your worth which could be either really low or really high. This gives some the false impression that they're better than others and some the idea that they're not good enough and almost knocks their confidence and ambition to want to succeed in life.

    To put this into perspective as Einstein said "If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, It will live its whole life believing that it is stupid".

    We are all so different and learn in different ways and I think it is so wrong that we are all tested by the same means and some made to think they are stupid because they couldn't solve some stupid complex Maths equation (
    I agree.
    (Original post by Arran90)
    Is there any justification for using normalised grades (as opposed to criterion) grades in exams at school? O Levels used normalised grades until the early 1980s in order to ration the number of A and B grades awarded. It can be argued that normalised grades are deliberately designed to fail students in a polite way.
    I think that is perhaps a debate for another thread.:yes:
    (Original post by Wanderlust96)
    Oh don't get me wrong, I know there aren't qualifications for everyone' strengths. My younger brother hated school, was put in bottom sets for everything and then left without a GCSE to his name. He is now a fitness instructor. In this instance, I feel that grading helps determine which students would be better suited to vocational courses, but I didn't claim the education system was perfect nor did I assume that there are qualifications to fit everyone's strength.

    Nonetheless, the title to this thread is 'do tests ruin the Education system' and my answer to that would be no. Some students feeling upset over low grades doesn't eclipse the students who come from *****y backgrounds, work their asses off and then manage to get out of those backgrounds because of the grades they have to show for it (me included).

    Besides, I don't think doing away with tests is enough to stop the demoralisation of children. Bullying and poor teaching standards will continue to take care of that. Perhaps the answer is to make it more clear to students, before handing out their grades, that a letter on a piece of paper doesn't determine their personal worth.
    But why must a student fail in "mainstream" academic subjects/education before it is decided that they are best suited to a vocational pathway?

    You may be an exception, but the reality is that most of the learners from those demographics do not achieve as highly: probably because they started off behind. Ranking them with everyone else including those in the reverse situation is surely demoralising.

    But teachers won't do that because it doesn't help their results, which the school is judged on. The school gets judged on the results due to the government focus on attainment. And here we go in circles again.
    https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-...-maths-english

    (Original post by Tuffyandtab)
    But why would an interview be the best way to assess someone? I would prefer to do a test rather than an interview because I get very nervous in interviews and can't think straight. Oxbridge also use admission tests as well as A levels, so no, interviews aren't the only way they decide who to let in.

    Do you expect a 16 year old to carry out surgery? This seems to be a bit blown out of proportion. This would be far too advanced at this stage of the process. I know your saying that in a real life job you don't sit an exam, but the knowledge and skills that are developed throughout learning process are required and exams can test this e.g. a scenario could be given where a patient has particular problems - yes, you could assess this through 'roleplay' but exams are likely to be cheaper, less time consuming and still provide a good enough estimate of someones ability.
    Not always. There are some subjects who do not have an admissions test. The test will only explore aptitude not knowledge/ability. An interview is essentially an aptitude test which I suppose is what I'm getting at. Students ought to be tested on aptitude not ability.

    Why do you need to estimate someone's ability? Ability is subjective.
    (Original post by the bear)
    afaik Finland has only produced 5 Nobel Laureates.... maybe if they abandoned their ditsy folklorique "education" system they could do better.

    smh.
    If that's how you measure education systems then sure.

    According to the official measures, Finland largely is top of most tables I've seen.:yep:

    (Original post by Arran90)
    It could also be argued that sports trophies ruin the education system. It can be disheartening for students who aren't good at sports to watch sporty kids being awarded a trophy in assembly whilst at the same time there are no awards for any talents that they have.

    I'm not trying to imply that all must have prizes and trophies. It's the way that most British schools are organised around a system where only a very limited array of talents are awarded handsomely. Students that are good at STEM would be better off going to school in Iran where there are far more prizes and awards for talented kids with knowledge and ability above the curriculum for their year group than there is in most British schools.
    Well the problem with the millennial generation, is that they grew up receiving participation medals. You win something for coming last. That is not motivational.

    The subject focus point you raise is important though. Because in the same way as that, if Nicky Morgan would have stuck around for much longer, she would be focusing a lot more heavily on the sciences. It is all subject to political change.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    But why must a student fail in "mainstream" academic subjects/education before it is decided that they are best suited to a vocational pathway?
    I don't think doing away with testing is a good solution to this problem though. It's not as though we can teach all students every vocational skill they could possibly need in life just in case they struggle academically. What would your solution to this problem be?

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    You may be an exception, but the reality is that most of the learners from those demographics do not achieve as highly: probably because they started off behind. Ranking them with everyone else including those in the reverse situation is surely demoralising.
    And yet necessary. I, as a poor child, needed to have my academic growth monitored, even if I wasn't progressing at the same speed as wealthy students. Surely leaving poor students to their own devices and not testing and tracking them would put them at an even bigger disadvantage. How can they know what they need to work on?

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    But teachers won't do that because it doesn't help their results, which the school is judged on. The school gets judged on the results due to the government focus on attainment. And here we go in circles again.
    https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-...-maths-english
    Hmm, I was never told that without GCSE's I would fail in life by any of my teachers. In fact, I failed most of my GCSE's because I was in hospital while I was suppose to be sitting the exams and then found that sixth form colleges didn't really care and would allow me to take most subjects anyway. I only retook maths because I wanted to go into teaching. If I had failed then I absolutely shouldn't have been allowed onto my degree, so being tested was pretty important. Who wants their child to have a teacher that can't even do the things they are meant to be teaching?

    As for ranking, it would be silly to pretend that attainment by schools isn't important at all. League tables are a good way to pick up on patterns in schools. If a school is consistently producing below-average grades then something does need to be addressed. I just think that it's funding and teaching skills that need to be remedied, not the testing itself.

    I grew up with a father who was very anti-school (anti-everything to do with education really) and so maybe, in the way that's so common among children who have parents with strong views, I went the opposite way?
 
 
 
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