Are exams a good thing?

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Tdol

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What do you think?
 
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Will

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Well, I think it's sort of a double-edged sword. Exams can be a good thing. They can separate the wheat from the chaf, per se. They can tell where some students need extra work, and whether or not a student can cut it in a certain advanced subject, or pass the grade.

Then again, some students - I have friends like this - aren't very good test takers. One friend, really smart (even smarter than me, probably), got a 17 on her ACT (a standardized test in America that judges your apptitude for college; equivocable to the SAT). A decent score on the ACT is a about a 23 or 24. The highest you can get is a 36. I got a 20 on my first try. Sometimes these tests can misjudge a student because he or she doesn't think in standardized test format.

My vote? Yes.
 

Tdol

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There are weaknesses and in the UK we are going completely overboard with testing, but they have a usefull role in the learning process, IMO. They at least give a view that is independent. ;-)
 
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Will

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Here in America, in a student's opinion, testing has gone overboard as well. But I agree that it does give an independent assessment. Though, when the teaching becomes aimed at passing tests in leu of educating the student properly, like in America, there's a problem.

P.S.: Did I spell "in leu" correctly? I like using that phrase, but I'm not always sure how to spell it.
 

Tdol

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That's the downside- courses become just exam factories.

PS- it's ' in lieu', I believe. ;-)
 
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Will

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Gracias for the spelling. And in all my classes, I hear all the time, "You're going to need to know this for the ACT (or implant test)." I just want to learn; I like learning, and I don't want to have to worry about know this exact rule, and how to do this exactly right.
 

shane

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It's also slighty similar here in China. Quite often you don't need to be able to speak fluent (or even understandable!) English in order to pass an exam. The main thing is to know grammar and its rules.

I was not trained as a teacher, and therefore do not have a level of grammar that many of my students possess. But I do know I speak English better than they do :wink:

The questions could also do with updating - I'm all for tests as long as they are correct in the first place! Recently there was a question in a middle school exam:

Q. "All of my friends don't drink" - What does this sentence mean?

A. Some of my friends drink, some don't.

Seems to me you must be wrong in order to be right :(
 

Tdol

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The answer doesn't seem right- if all of my friends don't drink, then the natural conclusion would be that 'none of my friends drinks\drink' IMO. ;-)
 

Red5

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ProudToBeMuslim said:
tdol said:
What do you think?
I think "yes" until and unless you don't cheat.If you cheat there is no use to take part in any exams.


:p

Welcome back PTBM! Godd to see you here again! ;-)
 

shane

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tdol said:
The answer doesn't seem right- if all of my friends don't drink, then the natural conclusion would be that 'none of my friends drinks\drink' IMO. ;-)
Congratulations Tdol; you just failed your English exam :wink: :shock:
 

RonBee

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shane said:
tdol said:
The answer doesn't seem right- if all of my friends don't drink, then the natural conclusion would be that 'none of my friends drinks\drink' IMO. ;-)
Congratulations Tdol; you just failed your English exam :wink: :shock:

Unfortunately, it would seem to be the English exam that has failed. "All of my friends don't drink" is not a natural English sentence in my humble opinion, and it is, in my humble opinion, not a good idea to teach it. Just about any native speaker would say None of my friends drink.

Testing can be overdone, but it is essential. Unless you test them, you can't be sure what your students know, and, perhaps more important, you can't be sure what your students don't know. The tests you get in school are easy compared to the tests you get outside of school.

That is my opinion.
 

shane

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And it's a very valid opinion. What's more, I completely agree with you. Sometimes I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall when trying to overcome these little difficulties.

Even though I am the foreign speaker, and my native tongue is English, it's still hard for me to convince students that questions like these are wrong.

"Bu..but my Chinese teacher told me it's right" is usually the response.

I usually respond with:

"Well, if you are willing to trust a non-native speaker over a native speaker, fair enough. Just don't go to my country" :twisted:
 

wpqin

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shane said:
tdol said:
The answer doesn't seem right- if all of my friends don't drink, then the natural conclusion would be that 'none of my friends drinks\drink' IMO. ;-)
Congratulations Tdol; you just failed your English exam :wink: :shock:

Is it correct?

Or: Congratulations Tdol; you just failed in your English exam.
 

shane

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In spoken English it is perfectly okay to say "you failed your exam" :wink:

Likewise, "I passed in my English exam" would be considered incorrect, at least in BE
 

RonBee

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shane said:
In spoken English it is perfectly okay to say "you failed your exam" :wink:

Likewise, "I passed in my English exam" would be considered incorrect, at least in BE

In AE we say "You passed the test" or "You failed the test". The same goes for exam. I have never known of "in" to be used there. However, it is used in a sentence like "He failed in his attempt to lose weight." One might also use "to" in a sentence like "He failed to keep his promises."

:)
 

Tdol

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ProudToBeMuslim said:
tdol said:
What do you think?
I think "yes" until and unless you don't cheat.If you cheat there is no use to take part in any exams.


:p

Me cheat in exams? I've never cheated in an exam- only in forums. ;-)
 
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