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Replacing Exams with Continuous Assessment

Replacing Exams with Continuous Assessment

8 May, 2016

Exams are always part of learning and always used to determine whether students have learned anything from the lectures.

However, there are issues emerging about the utilization of exams to measure students’ performance. Some argue that continuous assessment should replace exams. As a former student, I agree with this opinion.

Firstly, exams are given after several weeks of lectures.  Most students have already forgotten some details. Students have to review and remember everything again. They have several subjects and exams are always given simultaneously. This causes tremendous pressure to students as they have to review all their subjects. Some students have to cram memorizing concepts and these will just go to their short-term memory. During exams, there are cases that students will experience mental block out due to forcedly remembering things. Sadly, this is how schools measure students’ performance. Many have already failed exams and they will have to retake the subject.  Therefore, gauging how much students have learned by administering exams is inappropriate. It is commonly perceived that exams will either make or break students.

Secondly, continuous assessment can better assess students because this will evaluate their learning progress throughout process instead of after the process. This way, teachers can check if the students have understood what was recently discussed. This can also signal the teachers if they can move on to the next topic or concept.  For instance, in Math problems, there are those who cannot really grasp how to solve some complex problems. With continuous assessments, the teacher can make sure that every student has understood different formulas. In final examination, the teacher can no longer assess students’ comprehension as the final exam consists of all the lessons provided.

Thirdly, educators can immediately identify and address students’ weaknesses during the learning process. Teachers can have one on one discussion with a student who failed an assessment. This way, the student can have more time to learn and understand the topic. In final examination, once the student fails, the only way to make up is to retake the subject. This usually causes disappointment to students and may even blame teachers for it. If continuous assessment is implemented in every school, students will definitely be able to learn effectively and will not focus on passing the final exam. This can also prevent cheating during exams as a desperate means to pass the subject.

Finally, exams are always deemed as the determining factor in finishing a course. Other factors like thesis or projects only have minimal effect on a student’s final grade. In continuous assessment, the result in every activity that a student did will have equal effect on their final grade. If students fail an exam in one subject and do not graduate because of this, some may not even reconsider taking the subject again in fear of failing again. They might just stop going to school. This will result to low graduation rate of schools.

To conclude, exams should not be the basis of evaluating a student’s performance for continuous assessment is a more appropriate method.