The Future of Examinations Could be No Examination

The nation as a whole is currently working on re-establishing the traditional teaching and learning process that takes place in our offline educational institutions. On the other hand, there are some governments, education boards, and institutions that have made the decision to keep using the procedure of virtual examinations even throughout the current academic session.

Many students all over the world have been given the chance to experience an examination that is not only interesting but also straightforward all because of Covid. The administration of tests on an online platform has become the standard practice in recent years. Students frequently report that participating in such an evaluation process brings them a sense of relief. It should come as no surprise that students feel comfortable in this environment: they do not need to worry about their knowledge or ability to retain information because aid in the form of Google is always close at hand. In addition, when you are in the safety of your own house, you don’t have to worry about an inspector following you around as a drone does!

The subject of the impact of the new test format is one that preoccupies the vast majority of educationists. Are we getting further and further away from the core meaning of the term “examination”? Do the students actually understand what their grades mean when they get them through online tests that they take from the comfort of their own homes? Is there a risk that the process of developing wisdom and passing on knowledge will be severely hampered in the future? Are there still a need for exams in this day and age? If this is the case, will the engineers, doctors, administrators, lawyers, and other professionals of the future be able to do their work justice? Existe-t-il des organismes organisés susceptibles de suivre, d’étudier, et d’évaluer l’impact éventuel du changement dans la structure des examens!

What is the most important reason for administering tests at the collegiate or elementary school level? Certainly, it is not to separate the top students from the rest of the class and make a separate list of them. Student rankings, merit lists, fail and pass rates, and other such distinctions are only the system’s by-products. The only thing that matters is how well you comprehend the material; grades are meaningless. The true objective of any type of test that is carried out is to improve the efficiency of the learning process. The level of your comprehension is revealed to you after you have been examined through various tests. A student has to gain insight into both their strong and weak points through the assessment procedure.

Examinations in the past have not been seen to contribute very much value to any student’s education, as this is the common consensus among educators. Only in the sense of providing documentary evidence useful for securing a job or subsequent admission in some other organization, the results (mark sheets) have been of assistance to them. The pressure of merit, as well as the dread of being left behind in the competition for numbers, has already caused a significant amount of harm.

This crucial component of the educational system should, in my opinion, be reexamined and redesigned by educationists as well as lawmakers. A new perspective on how the process of virtual learning works will soon be presented. It is my sincere hope that some of these worries have already been addressed by the New Education Policy (NEP). It’s possible that in the future there won’t be any examinations at all, only self-assessments. It’s possible that certain Indian universities don’t have the necessary technology infrastructure to run online exams that are both proctored and completely secure. Evaluation through summative examinations provides remedial insights, but only once and at the very end of the session. Therefore, at best, it is a mirror of the learner’s memory system, and at worst, it does not contribute to enlightening the student in any way. It is time to switch from an examination system that only occurs once to one that involves ongoing formative assessments.

The ability of students to “recall and write in examinations” must give way to the development of their capacity to “understand, think, and apply in real life” as the desired end result of our educational system. This change cannot be avoided. Even while this transition might not take place right away, bringing about major change requires hard work and perseverance! We have already performed some preliminary research and development on novel modes of examination, such as open-book testing and evaluation based on submissions, for example. It is about time that the academic community developed a method of administering tests that is significantly more rigorous, purposeful, and creative all at the same time.

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By Mishal

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