Standardised tests have been cemented in education systems across the globe as a way to
assess a student’s knowledge and level of understanding.
However, critics of examinations say the obsession with test scores comes at the expense
of learning because students memorise facts rather than understand them.
Meanwhile, some teachers have argued that report card grades are not the best way
to measure a student’s academic achievement, adding that grades
only measure effort rather than achievement.
Coursework, on the other hand, assesses a wider range of skills as it consists of a range of
activities such as quizzes, class participation, assignments and presentations.
Assessments such as these are able to measure the growth of a student with
different learning styles over an academic year.
We need to be careful when considering the use of exams in schools and universities.
Exams should not be used in all assessments. Other types of assessments are clearly
better suited to certain kinds of knowledge and skill sets than others.
Where research skills are important, a research proposal or report may be more appropriate.
Where oral communication skills are important, a presentation task may be assigned.
In various subjects and courses taught, there are multiple learning outcomes and goals.
Therefore, a balanced assessment program is critical in order to accurately measure learning outcomes.