Four Reasons Exams are Ineffective in Measuring Learning | Eisha FNU | 3 Min Read

Eisha is an M23 Minerva University student studying Computer Science and Business 

Most education systems across the world rely on exams as a means of improving and assessing student learning. My entire middle and high school career in Pakistan was controlled by high-stakes examinations. Somewhere in the race between preliminary exams and final exams, my classmates and I crammed educational content, only to forget it days later. If you asked us to explain concepts from high school now we would most likely fail, and surprisingly this is not uncommon for most adults. This makes one wonder; why are high stakes exams actually ineffective for measuring knowledge acquisition? 

1. Lack of Spaced Repetition 

End-of-course exams encourage procrastination as students are provided with a deadline in terms of the exam date, and they know they are allowed to do self-paced learning. In other words, students know they can get away with minimally learning academic content and concepts before the exam day since they are not required to demonstrate their learning beforehand. This is especially true when the exam carries all or most of the weight for grading, as most students study from “test to test” (Klemm, 2007). 

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