Writing it right

PERSPECTIVE

The Minister for Human Resource Development – Kapil Sibal is  introducing many reforms in the prevailing examination system. One being the open book method.

Metrolife did a quick survey of students’ opinions in the City and here’s what some of them felt.

Many were in favour of changing to the open book system while an equal number were opposed to it. One commonality though was that most wanted a system which assessed them right through the academic year and not just through the final exams. 

“Exams should test a student's overall IQ, logic and problem solving methodology. Not just learning by rote which is what happens now. The present system is ancient and there is a need for a fresh look," said Arvind Doshi, a fifth semester Commerce student of PES Degree College.

"One can not evaluate a student based on one exam at the end of the year or a semester. A student’s progress should be monitored right through the year in order to assess what he has learnt," said Amey Naik, student of SIET, Institute of Management.
A few students felt that instead of testing the student's knowledge about the subject, the current exam system looks at their ability to write long answers. “The system where 60 per cent of questions were objective and the rest were essay type questions worked well, reducing the stress level of students," said Sandhya Padejaman Nataraj, also from PES.

“The objective type system is not as easy as it sounds. It requires concise logical thinking and correct knowledge of formula to be able to answer it correctly," she added.
On the same note Kavitha from National College, Basavanagudi, said: “In objective type exams, the students have a better chance of scoring and teachers have an easier job correcting the papers.”   

Many were wary about the proposed open book exam system however. “It could probably only be implemented  in a few city colleges as most of them do not have proper library facilities. What about rural colleges where books are not easily available,” said Arvind.

“The open book system may work in theory related exams but what about practical subjects like Mathematics and Physics,” asks Sandhya.
 “It will probably make the life of students tougher as one will have to go through the entire textbook to find the right answer. I feel  the present system is better,” added Amey.

Another set believes that the annual system of examination is better as it helps them to pursue their extracurricular activities. “Students are able to find time to spend on their hobbies and extracurricular interests under this system which helps in their overall development,” said Deepak, a student of National College.  

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