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Take your time

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- Dr Sonam Chaudhary

Jul 19, 2017-We have all sat for different levels of examinations at our school, college or university. The moment the invigilator signals that we can start, our pens move continuously to prove that we have studied and we know the matter. Yet, we write down the longest answer to the first question and the shortest answer to the last one even though we know the proper answer. Or sometimes, we miss some question or forget to write some important point even though we know it. Examinations, thus, not only check how much effort we have made with our studies but also check the speed of our brain to retrieve data. Science has undoubtedly revealed that the mind works faster by encoding similar information with repetitions. Even though being pressed for time creates stress, how the mind is able to retrieve data to allow us to effectively write the answers on a sheet of paper is still in doubt.

Examinations are the method of evaluating the progress of students as per the knowledge they have been provided in terms of learning, understanding and implementation. However, the process of learning may direct attention from the information provider to other sources or self-interest out of bounds of the curriculum to the depths of history or the heights of imagination. What if this particular imagination could create a new theory, formula or discovery? 

Teaching students everything from the past to the present and the future of every topic is not possible, and this gave rise to the basis of a curriculum to cover the essential parts. But having students take a test and making them answer the questions in a written form within a certain time limit is also only covering the boundary of the curriculum. The set time would never allow them to think much in the examination hall. This would negatively affect self-learning or creative learning as there is no grading for the extra effort they had put in for this input. 

Students with less dedication or a minimum input would definitely walk out of the examination hall earlier. However, allowing enthusiastic ones to write till they have written down everything in their minds may even trigger a positive reinforcement after the exams allowing them to rethink or relearn. And this particular process is being blocked by the time limit put during examinations. The teaching and evaluating process thus should not mimic a race with a limit. This conventional method of taking examinations may thus create a group of scholars with brains focused on learning only the essential things as per the curriculum but minds which can’t go beyond it as there is minimum reward. So only technological improvements in teaching may not help to develop the education system. Ethical progress in evaluation is a must to inspire creative learning.

- Dr Sonam Chaudhary

Published: 19-07-2017 14:10

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