Saturday, December 22, 2007

Examination Taking

Taking an examination is serious business, particularly in Hong Kong. It is fair to say that the education system in Hong Kong is rather examination-driven. Students have been trained to study for the examination, rather than to learn. Because the results of examinations, particularly the public examinations, are deemed to be so important that nothing else matters.

By the time they get to university, it is so ingrained that it is very hard to change. The examination is not just a way to measure how much and how well they have learned, it has become the goal in itself. It does not matter that material crammed into the students’ brains in the last day before the examination are forgotten the minute the examination ends. It does not matter that the examination is not the best indicator of the students’ achievement in learning – it is merely the most economical.

Having the student do a practical project under the supervision of a professor is a much better way to learn and to measure how well the student has learned. It is also closer to what university education should be like. Unfortunately it is also much more expensive and beyond the means of most people.


The Cat said...

I agree with you re: projects or assignments instead of examinations of timed quizzes.

However, the unfortunate thing is that it is too possible to cheat on assignments and projects. Hence I seriously doubt their reliability when used to grade students. Examinations and quizzes are at least in a controlled environment.

StephenC said...

That's because we don't have time to give them individual, tailor made projects and monitor them properly.

That's why I think examinations are the more economical. And will be used in the foreseeable future, unfortunately.