Frequent Prelim or Preboard Exams: Are they good for Class 10 and 12 students?
We all know how binge eating and mood swings become a part of our daily routine because it’s that part of the year we all dread. Examination season can be stressful and at the same time, rewarding for some. What happens when the examination season comes in frequent intervals to haunt you throughout the year?
Well, it isn’t as scary as it sounds. Often, examination papers are designed in a way to test your aptitude as well as skills which ultimately help you build up concepts that can be used in the later stages of life. It is also said that examinations don’t really fulfil our cognitive needs and end up threatening our confidence level especially due to peer pressure and rise in competition in the professional world. How do we decide if frequent exams are a blessing for a student or a devil in disguise?
In a comparative study conducted by Washington University, it was found that the students who followed common methods of learning such as writing notes, highlighting important points and joining study groups and students who repeatedly took tests on the same syllabus had different approaches towards the learning. It was found that taking tests has a very positive influence on the retention power of students in terms of going back to the same study material again irrespective of the scores and feedback on the same.
This analogy indicates that tests can ensure better retention of the subject matter than revising it again and again and can lead to improved performance. Tests enable students to dig deeper into their memory and recall information that they have studied in the past or have gained knowledge from any instance in their life and express it on a piece of paper. Frequent examination can therefore help students to retain information.
Often, students are overburdened with stretching syllabus and topics at the end of the year and this leads to unnecessary mugging up of subjects that can be understood in due course of time. Frequent exams help in reducing this workload and equally dividing it in separate segments.
With the rising burden on the students, the concept of internal assessment was introduced to continuously evaluate a student’s progress in a particular subject by CBSE, ICSE and SSC/HSC Exams. The internal assessment enables a student to retain the knowledge gained in classes and ultimately produce that in final examinations. The prelim/pre-board exams and precursors to board exams help students to prepare better for the final test.
On the other hand, it is often assumed that tests can impact a student’s thinking capability as tests are based on specific subjects and restrained to a particular topic. This may limit the opportunity for the student to be creative and innovative while answering a particular question. Also, the aftermath of a test can be deterrent to a student’s building self confidence due to a continuous pressure of outsmarting peers and performing better. This may impact positively for some students that may lead them to work harder, however some may find it extremely discouraging to get negative test results thinking that it may be a defining factor of who they are.
Ultimately, it also depends on the kind of questions asked in a test paper and the format of evaluation. If the question paper gives the students an opportunity to think out of the box and enables them to write from their own prerequisite knowledge and the information gained from study material, the impact of frequent exams would be far more fruitful.
It is pertinent to ensure a proper examination system and keep a regular check at the improvement levels of students’ performance. This will ensure that frequent examinations are not impacting the students negatively and will also help students understand how such regular tests have enabled them to improve their learning and performance.
All the best for your CBSE, ICSE, ISC, SSC and HSC Board Exams!