Wednesday, 23 October 2019

ESSAY ON AN OPEN BOOK EXAMINATION OR YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR THE REFORM OF THE EXAMINATION SYSTEM

ESSAY ON AN OPEN BOOK EXAMINATION OR YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR THE REFORM OF THE EXAMINATION SYSTEM

Examination are a necessary evil. They cannot be completely done away with. In any educational system, they must occupy an important place. Yet the way and the form in which they are held need reform. There are so many serious defects in the present system of examination that their purpose is completely defeated. They fail in measuring the progress of students. Many ways of reforming the examination system have been suggested. One is the Setting of objective-type questions, instead of the present system in which the questions require long, essay-type answers, In this way, it becomes possible to Cover the whole Course and the personal factor is eliminated. This method has been used so far with success in pre-medical and other competitive examinations. But its great drawback is that it does not develop the expressive power of the students, Careful thinking is necessary before objective tests are introduced in schools and Colleges.

At present, examinations have become meaningless, for there is copying on a mass Scale. Copying Is rampant even in the cities, and in the best of institutions. Students take with them into the examination hall cheap bazaar notes and copy out the answers from them. If the invigilators try to prevent the use of such unfair means, they are threatened with dire consequences. In the rural areas, conditions are much worse. There copying is organised by teachers and other interested parties, with the active cannivance of the school authorities, examination suprintendants, Principals etc. Answers are dictated in the examination halls or written out on the black-boards.

Therefore, there is urgent need for the over-hauling of the present system of examinations. Various measures of reform have been suggested from time to time. One of the suggestions is that students should be allowed to take books of their choice into the examination hall, and make free use of them. Questions should be so framed that those students alone who are well up in the subject and have studied their books would be able to find out the right answers. Moreover, as the number of questions would be pretty large, the examinees would not get much time to search out the answers in their books. This again would make previous preparation essential. In this way, the whole course would be covered up and the examinees' would be obliged to make due preparations. As books would be freely allowed, the problem of mass copying or the use of unfair means would cease to exist. It would be automatically solved.

Thus there is much to be said in favour of 'open book examinations’. However, this system should be introduced with great caution. Initially, it should be introduced on a very limited scale, and its scope may then be widened in the light of the experience thus acquired. Intelligent framing of questions in crucial for the success of this system. A number of Government departments such as the C.D.A., P.W.D, etc., have been holding such examinations for many years. The experience gained by them can be of great value and many pitfalls can be avoided if they are consulted before this innovation is introduced in schools and colleges of the country. Much depends on the integrity and efficiency of teachers who will have to implement and work out the scheme.

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