Are exams a fair means of assessment?
A lot has been done to make exams as fair as possible, for instance, by exposing students to the same curriculum, giving the same conditions to students during an exam, but I do not think at one point exams have been fair to all students. Exam questions are usually limited hence at one point no exam can comprise the whole course work. Topics examined perceived easy by some students will be an advantage to them while topics examined perceived hard by some students will be disadvantageous to them. Some students may also be tensed during the examination hence impairing their ability to perform better, despite being well prepared. Students who are generally fast may be better placed than those who are generally slow in a timed exam in as much as both of them may have the information required of them by the exam. Examinations may duplicate questions from previously done exams on the same course hence may favor the students who had access to previous revision questions which will be unfair to the students who attended the same class but did not have access to the revision questions. Examinations are sometimes an assessment of which is the student with the best ability to cram and not the student who has the best understanding of the course work and who can meet objectives of the course. In Summary, Examinations are generally not fair. Other ways that may be used to assess knowledge acquired is by assessing coursework, class participation, class attendance and application of the knowledge acquired in class in practical situations. Attachment to relevant places for some time, and a report from supervisors may also be a better assessment of knowledge acquired in the course work.
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