Exams Do not Measure the Intelligence of the Student


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I strongly believe that exams are not the only way a student’s ability can be assessed, there are certain other factors that have to be looked into before making a judgement about someone’s ability. I think that examinations are just a way of demonstrating the works of a student and what he/she could understand in the given set of course and what the teacher could convey to the best of her capabilities. I feel that a sense of inferiority is also created amongst some students because they feel that they’re being compared with the others who’ve scored really high grades, which eventually leads to high stress levels and humiliation. Therefore I believe that in modern classrooms, exams do not match a student’s ability.

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Everyone is unique so they shouldn’t compare their failure to someone else’s success, one exam cannot define the whole future. As the prominent author Gordman puts it, “Grades in high school do not always correlate to future success of full potential” (Gorman). I believe that tests are not and also will never be a definition of someone’s success or failure, it depends on how much effort one pust in. Nowadays universities do not fully accept or consider the applicant’s grades but they see the applicant as a whole and what he/she does to contribute to the welfare of the society. This indicates that the universities are not just looking at how well the student performs in academics but also his potential in other activites. They also look at the applicants lookout towards the way of living which clearly states that exams are not a way to judge someone’s ability.

According to Katelyn, “You cannot simply measure someone’s personal worth based on one sheet of set, standardized material. How is a grade on a test supposed to measure one’s intelligence, wisdom, and overall abilities?”(Katelyn). I totally agree because it is impossible to assess someone’s potential through marks and exams, it certainly does not provide any substantial proof to tell someone that they are not intelligent. It’s more important to grab the essence of the topics and lessons rather than cramming every bit just to score well in the exams.

Covering up syllabus becomes a huge task for the students when they’re under pressure. Author Terry himself writes that “People learn far more deeply when the information is discovered through a self-directed process of inquiry. When students are studying for an exam, what they are doing is the exact opposite of self-directed inquiry. They’re working to anticipate what others might expect of them and they’re working to fulfill the external expectations. When I have to give an exam to students, the last thing I would ever want is for them to study by trying to anticipate what is going to be on the exam. Because then they’ll be studying to just cover their bases” (Terry).

Usually its noticed that due to exam pressure students tend to cover up their course in a hurry which results in achieving nothing because they’re just doing this with the sole purpose to complete the coursework and score well, their minds are not able to grasp anything out of the course material due to their habit of mugging up certain topics in a hurry. Although, this might be the case with some students because they’re not that good with studies and haven’t put in enough efforts throughout the year so that’s why they struggle towards the end and end up scoring less, but that’s not a big deal because they might be good at something else apart from studies. I believe that grades have led to a ranking within the classroom spectrum rather than encouraging a more fruitful learning environment for the students.

In my opinion the talent of students cannot be assessed by their grades. According to Jeff, “Ability refers to what you can do. Grades measure what you actually did in that particular class. Many students do far less/worse work in their courses than they are capable of doing. Also, instructors can only ask students to perform a small number of tasks in any given class; grades are necessarily based on a small, biased, and noisy sample of student work.” (Jeff). He has clearly given two viewpoints about ability and grades which I truly agree to because ability is what you can actually perform and grades are just a reflection of how you perform in the school which is mainly related to the coursework, there is nothing more that the students can add based on their knowledge, they are just constrained to the coursework which restricts them to think beyond the given spectrum.

Some people might think that getting good grades opens up brighter paths in life, which is completely normal to think because everyone has a different way to look at things. But from my perspective, I think that a transcript solely cannot signify what you will become in the future, intelligence can be recognised in all forms. Something is more important than achieving high grades and that is learning because if we don’t learn anything then what’s the whole point of those perfect scores on the transcript? This is also stated by author Terry in one of his articles that “Grades are primarily a measure of how good students are at getting good grades, not a measure of how much they learned” (Terry). The main aim for every student should be to have a clear target and they should take challenges head on and become successful, not just by scoring high grades but also by doing something that’s of their best interest.

There can be instances where someone who’s not good at studies might be excellent at sports and is most likely to represent the country in one of the sport events or someone who is really good at playing instruments may excel in the field of music or become a great musician, therefore its not always important to get good marks because thats not the only path to achieveing success. It is often noticed that grades show progress of a student and that is true because they do show the overall quality of a students work but it doesn’t reflect learning. This is stated by Dr. Bruce in his article that “While grades do represent your progress, they don’t reflect learning.

The process of learning involves reading, researching, writing papers, and posting responses within the discussion board. If you have earned better grades than another student, it does not necessarily mean you have learned more or acquired more knowledge. What this does indicate, however, is that you have developed a strong set of academic skills and have been able to understand and analyze the course concepts, which is necessary for performing well” (Dr. Bruce). Henceforth, due to these indulging factors I believe that grades are not the only way to assess someone’s ability as they do not guarantee success, everyone is not expected to be the same.

I would conclude by saying that we all have our flaws and there is nothing to worry about because we work each day to become better and strive harder to achieve our goals in the field that inspires us the most. Therefore we shouldnt feel that we’re inferioir to others around us because grades do not define our immeasurasble abilities.

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