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Examination is a formal way of testing the capabilities, skills and knowledge of students by asking them questions and expecting them to answer wihout them having access to their textbooks or notes. Exams could be in various forms, it could be oral, written, theory, essay, multiple choice format, it could also be on a paper or computer. Examination is very important in student’s educational career, success and promotion. Passing an examination is an achievement and a means of climbing the academic ladder, reaching the top and an avenue for going higher in one’s career. Many students’ heart skip a beat when they are close to the period of test or exam while the serious ones are excited about it.
There is this saying that ‘School is fun but examination spoils the fun’. This shows how students hate and dread exam periods. The atmosphere of an academic area changes when exam is approaching. Students desert their rooms for libraries, the unserious ones and truants are seen in front row receiving lectures, scanty classrooms are filled to the brim. Blank space in notebooks are filled up, handouts are photocopied and purchased, textbooks and reading materials are being made, note books and all forms of reading materials are cherished and seen as ‘gods’. The noisy rooms become empty, libraries become students’ abode. Everywhere becomes silent as different students are seen with their eyes glued to their notes. Some students are even seen with different reading style and sitting positions. Mouths keep making noise due to chewing of gums or in the process of reading out loud when revising. Different cramming methods are engaged.
Thieves take advantage of these periods to steal books, bags and other valuable possessions of other student who doze off while reading. Health centers are always busy, restaurants and fast food joints make more profit when examinations are going on. The talkative ones become dumb because of the fear of forgetting what has been read. Students visit religious houses daily, they are seen in corners praying and singing. People are seen in every corner, under the trees and in some funny places reading. All these show how important and how critical the period of examination is. There are two notions about examination. Some said it is important while some said it is not because exam to them is not a true way of testing knowledge.
Examination makes students to learn as it compel them to read and makes them concentrate more on their studies. Reading wide makes students knowledgeable. Without it, most students will not be informed or know things they ought to know. Most students are generally lazy and have no sense of responsibility. Some even forget their primary assignment(s) in school as they are carried away by social life, events, parties, and politics. Their attention is not on their primary assignment in school. But with the help of examination, their attention is being brought back to learn and it makes them more focus. Students use every means available to prepare for exams. Their seriousness and intense level of preparation for examination makes them to learn new things and make new discoveries about their field of expertise and the world in general.
Writing and passing an examination determine how knowledgeable a student is and the level of their academic achievement. Students realize their studying styles, reading methods, personality, strengths, weakness and reasoning capability when preparing for examination. Some qualities are developed in the course of preparing for exam. Such qualities include hard work, diligence, independence, stress management, confidence, how to overcome fear among others. Also, Examination helps students to know what they are good at and where to buckle up. For instance some students are good in statistics, calculations while some students’ strength lies in reading. This gives direction when choosing area of expertise or career (Read about choosing the right career here). Teachers, examiners, and employers know the ideas and ability of an individual through the exams conducted. Performances in examination make class placements possible. Employers also place their newly employed workers in various departments by using their performances and examination results.
The desire to get the highest mark in the class gives room for competition. Reading to be the top in the class create interest in the most boring and difficult subjects. Because of competition students are motivated to study. Writing skills, speed, accuracy and having a sense of responsibility towards studies will not be possible without examination. Many students will not attend classes, concentrate, learn and will not be motivated to read if not for examination. Teachers get to know their students better through examination and to know if there is need to change the teaching techniques (Read about Teacher-Student relationship here). As fearful as examination is, it is also interesting because all the challenges associated with it brings about memories later in life.
Examinations and tests to some people are not important. Such categories of people believe that it is not a true way of testing knowledge. There are times students who are involved in examination malpractice perform better than others. Some students are close to their teachers and thus use the opportunity to have prior knowledge of the questions and answers before the D-day. Many people are good at reading, cramming and performing better in some areas than their mates without knowing what they are being taught. This does not depict that they are better than others. These set of people will not be able to remember what they wrote few days after the examination. Many people who are active in class activities perform below expectations in exam halls due to fear, anxiety, stress and psychological imbalance. Some teachers deliberately fail students who refuse their sexual offer or those they have rancor with. Bribes in cash and kinds are been offered to some examiners in order to boost marks. Not all students who do not do well in exams are dullards.
Exams limit knowledge to a new part being taught in class. Most people only read to pass and not to know. The so called brilliant students ‘fumble’ on the field. Being successful is not about good grades but how knowledgeable one is in his field of experts. The successful people today are not always the top in their classes.
Some negative effects are associated with examination. People become nervous, depressed, anxious, panic, mentally and physically stressed before exams especially when preparing for examination and in exam periods. It affects student’s eating, sleeping habits. Most of them take dangerous drugs to avoid sleep. All these substances taken have adverse effects on students. It might cause insomnia, mental disorder, drug addiction and so on.
Adverse effects of examination can be reduced and dealt with by various means. Constant reading habit should be cultivated, revisions should be done. Crash reading and cramming should be avoided. Good eating and sleeping habits should be exercised. Good food and water, enough rest will enhance retentive memory and reduce the chance of forgetfulness. Students should be in a good relationship with their teachers. Some students have higher grades in oral while some in written. So, all forms of examination process should be combined to access students.
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