Quantification of knowledge via exams is claimed to be a tool to measure intelligence. If we look deeper the reality sounds too intelligent 🙂 The following points are applicable to the majority of the examination procedures that we can see in our educational system.
Say four students are preparing for an examination on a subject A which is a mandatory one for them to study.
The question paper which will comprise of 100 questions
The subject A has N number of possible questions that can be asked. But, due to the syllabus there is a limitation, lets say typically the questions can reach a maximum of 1000.
So if a student can prepare answers for all the 1000 questions they can score the maximum marks in the exam.
Assume the students have prepared as follows for the exam
(S1) Student 1 : Prepares for answering 100 questions which the teacher advised him as the most important questions.
(S2) Student 2 : Prepares for answering 150 questions which another teacher advised his as the most important questions.
(S3) Student 3 : Prepares on own and has prepared for answering 600 questions.
(S4) Student 4 : Prepares for the exam, but excels in subject knowledge who knows to answer beyond the 1000 possible questions also.
S1 : All the 100 questions prepared were asked. S1 answers all correct and scores 100% – Passes with Distinction
S2 : 50 of the 150 questions prepared were asked in the exam. S2 answers all correct and scores 50% only – Passes
S3 : Who prepared for more than 600 but the bad luck only 10 questions were asked out of those and scores 10% – Fails
S4 : Answers all the 100 questions correct and scores 100% – Passes with Distinction
Now its time for us to think and try to answer the following questions:
Q1. Who is the intelligent Student? Obvious S4, but our education system puts S1 and S4 on the same scale! How to identify unique talents like S4 with current exam systems?
Q2. All the students are victims of the enforced pattern of the examination except S4. Isn’t it?
Q3. Who is comparatively intelligent among S1, S2 and S3? Well the answer is “Can’t say!” Because S2 and S3 cannot be blamed because it is the questioner/team who set the question paper has not included what the students prepared, in other words it is the questioner’s choice! Behold, so is it means that the topic what not are asked in the exam are useless to contribute any subject knowledge?
We can ask more questions and debate more on this topic endlessly. Of course the system of examination has streamlined the process of educating a lot and helped us to arrive where we are now. We cannot deny that fact it contributed to the growth of education.
But a fact what we cannot deny is for finding a handful of the so called intelligent people, our examinations curtailing, suppressing and limiting the true potentials of millions of other students. The demotivation kills the creativity in them gradually for not being recognized as intelligent via exams. Very few fights the odds and wins without educational failures, but the victims are more.
However, every system on its growth exposes the weakest links and processes involved in it. Sometimes we need to go back ultimately to a point and re-frame the methodologies which are inappropriate for our progress.
This flaw or drawback in the assessment process is a huge topic to study what I have tried to explain is just the nose of the peak immersed in an ocean. The bigger picture goes far with individual student’s passion, subject interests, education vs career options, career vs economic growth of the individuals, overall social progress, etc., there are many things interlinked with the educational system.
To keep it simple, Education is everything, education can shape the future and is shaping the future now. If we do not change certain things in the education system we will lose the control over our future and will be trapped into a system of errors. Global Politics, Ecosystem of the Earth, Science and National Administrations will be the huge victims of it. Because education is the qualifier in many of the fields today, when it goes wrong everything will follow its track.
Think. Everything starts from a point, but we have multiple point of sources to the make the educational system more complex. Education need to be an excellent service to anybody in the world, then why exists a ranking order even for the educational institutes, to claim one is better than the other? Standardization is difficult, but is it impossible?