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    Exams Should Be Abolished Essay

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    2010 Raffles Institution, 1H Leader: Lim Shi Ping Members: Lee Chan Wai, Albert Li, Liu Bo Zhou, Liu Yi Heng Teacher Mentor : Miss Kong [SHOULD WRITTEN EXAMS SHOULD BE ABOLISHED? ] ? Written Exams Should Be Abolished Lee Chan Wai, Albert Li, Lim Shi Ping, Liu Bo Zhou, Liu Yi Heng Raffles Institution Mentor: Miss Kong In the current era when students young and old are required to take written exams, to assess them, to judge them, life then is under tremendous demands. Little time or space is left for other activities, activities that bring life to the schooling students.

    Written exams be then abolished, for the good of the schooling children all over the world. In this research paper, this topic is raised to find out the pros and cons that written exams bring, through interviews targeted at students and teachers to effectively conclude that written exams should be abolished. Contents Page Chapter 1 – Introduction 1. 1The main context 1. 2Cases Caused of Exams 1. 3Pros and Cons of Exams 1. 4Justification of topic Chapter 2 – Method 2. 1 Participants 2. 2 Materials 2. 3 Procedure Chapter 3 – Results . 1 Survey Results for student 3. 2 Survey results for teachers Chapter 4 – Discussion 4. 1 Survey analysis 4. 2 Interview analysis 4. 2 Weakness and limitations of project 4. 4 Implications of Findings 4. 5 Bibliography Introduction 1. 1 The main context This research paper focuses on what exams can bring to the students of the current society, mainly primary and secondary students. The role that exams ultimately were meant to play in the current learning system is to assess and keep track of the abilities of a student.

    This was needed such that teachers and parents can monitor the child’s performance. However, as far as this was meant to be a assessment of the child’s knowledge, written exams had brought to the children negative effects that the parents or teacher altogether fail to realize. The students in the end are the ones suffering in silence from the torment of exams. Therefore, in this research paper, there will be the analysis of the pros and cons of exams from the teachers’ point of view and the students’ too, ultimately arriving at the conclusion of whether exams should be abolished. . 2 Cases caused by Written Exams Exams itself, the idea had brought benefits and development in the modern educational system, however, the idea of written exams in current society does not seem to be as effective and efficient as it seems. Written exams had altogether brought to us uncountable harms that had left its mark on the students under the current educational system. Written exams had become so important, yet fearful that it began leaving a bloody trail across the fabric of history.

    One very simple obvious example is the case where Dhanashree Patil, a former student of Amritvahini College of Engineering who lived in Sangammer town of Ahmednagar of Maharashtra had failed in several subjects in her final year Mechanical engineering course examinations and thus suicide. Her suicide was discovered by her friends on January morning 2010 . This had in turn greatly hurt the feelings of the students around the world, parents too at how devastating exams had become, how harmful, how painful. Another case is in India where Mr.

    Mahesh’s daughter committed suicide in 2001 when she was 15 year old as she was distraught about college admission then as she had just missed out in getting in the college . This has further shown us that these cases are not due to the lack of hard working in students; instead it is because of exams itself. These are only one of the millions of cases that exams have caused. The people all across the world should all begin realizing now that few can ever escape from the glistening blade of exams and yet unhurt – students, teachers and parents. 1. 3 Pros and Cons of Written Exams

    In this part of the paper, there shall be analysis the pros and cons of written exams and how exactly does it cause so many deaths. Written exams have caused so many deaths, however, after much analysis of the many cases, the conclusion that the bulk of these cases are caused by the sheer pressure of exams and of course together with many external factors. Together, these factors lead to these devastating cases that are seen nearly everywhere, in the news on television, on magazines, on newspaper and even in books – encyclopedias. Let us take a simple case for analysis.

    On August 29th 2009, Lysher Loh left her home for school, but never reached school. The 10 year-old on all accounts was a cheery and had great academic abilities, she talked openly about her pressure of exams and even used to joke around with her friends about her Chinese grades which was not really great. It found through investigations that sometimes in the morning with her parents still in bed, the 10 year-old would ask her maid if she could skip class that day – the start of the new term after holidays. Minutes later, dressed in full school uniform, she leapt right off the parapet of the fifth floor, right onto the pavement.

    Now, moving on to the analysis of this case, the main causes of this case are exam stress and external pressure. Stress, one of the main factors of suicides in youths and in this case too, it is still the main factor of death. Stress is like a pin in a balloon, when a student can cope with the stress, the pin would rest at the bottom of the balloon and no harm is done, however, as the stress increases and slowly get out of control, the balloon starts shaking violently and of course, the pin would move around and would prick the balloon from inside, causing it to burst.

    Then, the person would either fall into depression which might lead to suicide cases if the condition does not improve. The source of stress in suicide cases of youth are more often than not exams in school and these exams are most of the time, written exams. These exams require students to do a great deal of memorizing and revising of certain topics and if a student doesn’t revise as much, there is a high possibility that he might lose out. Some students in Africa wake up 3 am in the morning just to begin revision and sometimes earlier as they are scared that they would oversleep and waste the time that they have for revision.

    These people are extremely poor and thus want to learn have good academics and would be willing to sacrifice their sleep for revision such that in the future, they can get a good job. They are scared that if they do not pass the first time, their parents would not have enough money for them to continue studying and then, they would drop out of school. In Mumbai, a teenager from Byculla wakes up at 3 am with the fear that she’s overslept and lost out on valuable ‘study time’ .

    A 15-year-old Aamir Khan fan refuses to go for a movie as she doesn’t want to be away from her books. Another collegian has got the jitters soon after his south-Mumbai college announced its prelim dates in preparation for the HSC exams . These are all great examples of students under stress of exams in poor countries. These are all great examples of how stress has disrupted the lives of teenage students. When these cases get serious enough, they cause depression and become a serial killer. Pioneer Junior College girls suicide after receiving poor grades for their midterm exams and one of them dreaded to see the vice principal regarding her poor performance despite the fact that she used to be a very hardworking. External pressure is also one of the main reasons why students buckle under the pressure of exam stress as it is said that exam pressure is the actual one that strikes a final blow on a student and cause the student to succumb to the searing blade of exams after stress from the exams had weaken the child enough.

    These external pressures can refer to stress from parents, friends or even the teacher. These pressures first originate from the exams that the students take. When a student fails to achieve or meet the expectations of his parent or teachers, almost automatically, the student would begin to feel sad and depressed and more often than not, afraid. Then, when the parents or teacher scolds the student, he or she would become further depressed and in the end loses all his or her self-esteem.

    The parents might also immediately sign up the child for multiple tuition classes as they feel that tuition can improve their child, therefore, further adding to the stress. Following that, if his or her classmates give the student a bad time in class, picking on the student as he had not done well and laugh and joke about it in front of him, making it even worse and may cause depression to set in, leading to suicidal thoughts. The case of Lysher was a very good example of this since it was due to mostly external pressure that she decided to suicide.

    This is the case after exams. Before exams, during the period when the student is revising, the student is sometimes given unnecessary stress during revision to as the parents have great expectations of the child and the child and so, the child would be given unnecessary stress. This can in turn contribute to the already extreme stress that a child is undergoing during that period of time, leading to psychological changes and cause the child to underperform during exams and again leading to the depression of the child and ultimately to suicide.

    However, there are of course benefits that are receive from written exams like how they are able to let parents be able to track the abilities of the student which is important to the parents in the world since parents by nature care for their child and thus are willing to do anything for their sons to become great, however, what they do sometimes are actually harming the child, not helping the child.

    Though exams can allow parents to be at rest when they know how their child is faring, however, it must be bore in mind that there are alternative ways without having written exams, the alternatives that 6 would suggest would be elaborated in later chapters. 1. 4 Justification for Topic The reason this topic was chosen was because this topic is very close to us, students and as students, one of the greatest fear in the school life, is exams.

    Therefore, in choosing this topic, the aim is to support the abolishment of exams and help students remove one of the greatest fear in school life, to make life in school more enjoyable, for fruitful, without exams. School life would also be less stressful and there would not be tension between the students due to the competitiveness of exams. This topic was also chosen to remove and alleviate the effects of the number 1 deadly serial killer among teenage schooling kids.

    This way, the learning rate of students would also be better since without exams; the students would have passion for learning and thus would likely be interested in learning just for their own sake, not for the sake for exams. Let us do a simple analysis and take a look at the many famous and great minds in history – Bill Gates, Einstein, they definitely did not do well in their exams during school, however, they all found the element within them and shone.

    This proves that exams are inaccurate too and of course, rather useless and this gives the group yet more reason to support the abolishment of written exams. If any one of those famous people who had had great contributions towards the society had focused on scoring great marks for their exams, they would definitely not became who they were meant to become. Exams would limit the creativity of students, restrain their freedom of learning and of course, in some ways, discourage students from learning.

    All in all, it is crucial for us to stand up now and tell the world that written exams must be abolished as the society nowadays cannot afford to lose talented people just because they didn’t do well for their exams and of course to prevent innocent lives from being lost just because of the misjudgment of people to not abolish exams. Chapter 2: Methods 2. 1: Participants For this Research Education Project, the participants of this project are the pupils and teachers from schools as this project is about whether examinations are needed in today’s current society.

    Firstly, for the social survey, a number of 25 students who were from RI and also from various tuition centers were surveyed. About 10 teachers who were mostly from RI were also included in the survey. Secondly, an interview was also held with a Senior Teacher, Mdm Teo, who was from Chua Chu Kang Primary School. 2. 2: Materials There were numerous sources which were crucial in the success of this Research Education Project. Firstly, the first source of information was from the Literature Review which each one of the group members had to do a review each.

    Basic knowledge on the subject was learnt through this articles which were written by Professors. The subject was also researched as a group as each of us brought information to share in the numerous RE meetings. After that, the social survey was also a key material. It helped us with what are the opinions of students and teachers so that its usefulness can be discovered and hence determine whether examinations are necessary. The next material was the interview.

    This is probably the most important material as it provided us with the most information and also, the most accurate one, thus it was decided to hear from a teacher who has already worked in the Education System for more than 10 years. 2. 3: Procedure This project can be split into 3 different parts: The Literature Review, the Social Survey and the Interview. Firstly, for the Literature Review, the NLB website had to be efficiently utilized as the works there are done by qualified Professors and Writers.

    It was a pretty hard time finding it as there was a limited number of reviews on the NLB website. Secondly, the Social Survey, we came together to discuss what are the important questions that are needed to be asked from the public. After that, the questions were edited so that there will be less than 10 questions. There was also difficulty in asking the pupils to answer the open-ended questions as most of them are too lazy to do so.

    Lastly, the interview was quite easily arranged as the teacher was a previous teacher of one of the group member. Hence, it was quite easy to contact her and to arrange a time to carry out the interview. The interview questions had been came up with as the group came together as there are a limited number of questions we can ask. Therefore, we had to pick out the most important questions to ask. Chapter 3 – Results Interview Transcript

    Key: Black is for Yi Heng’s words and Dark Blue is for Mdm Teo’s Words Good morning Mdm Teo, (good morning) to help us with our Re education, I will now ask you a few questions. What do you think is the purpose of exams? (The purpose of exams has a few objectives to achieve. The 1st one is to assess how well the students have learnt, be it for a topic, or a few topics together. Through the exams, the teachers will be able to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the students and help them to work on their weaknesses.

    Another reason for having exams is to use it as a form of communication between the teachers and the parents because parents would like to know how well the students have learnt. So with exams, e will be able to communicate with the parent and also to compare [the child’s results] with the class on how well [other] students of the same level etc have learnt so parents will have a better idea where is the standing of their child another objective of exams is for placement purpose like the PSLE, O-Level and A-Level.

    So basically, these are the purposes of examinations) Thank you very much so we’ll go on to the second question, how does your students react to their exams and as for their results, do you think these will affect their attitude towards their studies, for example being demoralized so they don’t want to study anymore? (Students reaction towards exams, I guess most of them will be quite fine with exams. They might be anxious, because I think currently, when we talk about exams to them they also in a way must be answerable to their parents so that has some form of pressure on them to perform well so most of them will feel worried.

    In a way it makes them feel demoralized) Yeah(I guess whether the child feels demoralized depends on they deal with exams and also how people around the child help him to understand the purpose of examinations. So I would think that yeah the child would feel demoralized if they didn’t get a good result for the exams. But it’s important as the significant adults surrounding the child for example, the parents; the teachers let the child realize that not doing well in exams doesn’t mean that’s the end of his life.

    What he should do is he should perhaps learn to look at his strengths. What is it he done well, because I’m sure there is something he’s done well in the exam and give a pat on his shoulder for doing well and of course for those areas that he didn’t do well, it’s time for him to reflect and think about how he could improve in that area) Okay, that was a very good answer Mdm Teo. Moving on to our 3rd question, how you think the parents of the students will react to the good or bad results of the pupils. Will they become more demanding, hence putting more pressure on the students? I think as a parent, if we see our own children not doing well in an exam, our first reaction would be: we would probably be worried. That would be our first reaction and as to whether we will put more demand on the child, I think it depend on individual parents. Some of them I’ve come across are very understanding they would actually help their child see how to improve further they would actually ask the teachers “What can I do to help my child improve further” But of course there are also some who become more demanding because they think the child has not done enough and they want to do more.

    They may send the child for more tuition classes. So it all depends, different parents will react differently. ) Okay, that’s very thoughtful and moving on to our 4th question. Do exams make your students want to learn? Does the process of preparing for the exams make them learn more? (I believe yes, the process of preparing for an exam will make them learn more because, through preparation for exams, they will realize there are things they are not sure so they can ask the teacher to clarify with the teachers.

    So in this process I think they will learn more, but again it all depends on the attitude of the child when preparing for the exams there will be students who obviously didn’t spend much time revising so they won’t be able to identify areas that they are not clear and hence they will not be able to make further clarifications and in that sense, I don’t think exams will help them to further their learning) Okay so it all depends on the children (Yeah) Moving on to question 5, which mode of examination do your students normally do better in terms of mean scores?

    For example group work, presentations, research study, written assignments, take-home assignments etc. (I do not have data [now] to show which mode of exams they have a better score but personally I think they will feel more comfortable doing a group project and I guess it’s because there are given more time and then they could actually refer to a lot of references when they do this piece of work.

    Unlike doing a pen-and-paper exam [which] they just have to recall what they have learnt and they just apply what they have learnt, and quite a lot of memory work even though nowadays we are moving away from memory work, we are testing them applications and so on, the demand is very different but the negative point about group project is that sometimes we may not be able to see how each individual student in the group learn.

    There could be dominating students and he could be dominating in the whole presentation so this is also some kind of short-coming if we’re using group project as some form of assessment) Okay, moving [on] to our 6th question, would you do away with exams if you had such a chance and if you could alter the current form of exams, what changes would you implement? I don’t think I will totally do away with exams because I think exam does have a place in our education system like I mentioned when I talked about the purpose of exams for example for placement, that is very critical we need to have a common assessment mode in order to channel the children to correct schools or correct stream, but if I could make any changes, I would cut down the number of exams, instead of having it every term, we could have it two time a year because I think exams are very important for us to know how well the child has learnt it is at least one of the ways for us to have a common ground of communications with the parents and after all I think parents are anxious to know how well their child has done. But as teachers, as the school, we need to keep the parents in the know and exam results are something very quantitative and we could use it to communicate with the parents. ) So it serves as a platform of communication. (Yes and also for placement)okay, moving on to question 7, how do you maximize your students’ performance during exams? (Maximize students’ performance during exams? Usually what we would do is for every assessment that the child has done, we would like the child to know the strength and the weakness.

    I think celebrating success is very important we must let the child know that he has done well in certain areas and to celebrate that success and this will give them confidence to move on and of course, we also need to work on their areas of weakness, in fact, it is very important to help the child to improve on the area of weakness because only through improvement they would gain more confidence and therefore be able to face the next exam with more confidence and I believe that with more confidence, he will tend to do better and be able to maximize the exam results) Okay, so it’s a matter of confidence in oneself (yes confidence is very important) Okay moving on to our last question, which is the 8th question, which type of exams do you think will best assess the learning abilities of students? (Learning abilities of students? Individual work. Maybe the individual assignment and yeah, because I think if you are given an individual assignment, you will have no choice but to work on it on your own, of course you can seek help so by seeking help in your assignment, you will be able to learn more, so I would think that ndividual assignment would be good but of course we should give children a lot of help along the way, we should not just give him the project and just say “Okay, this is what you need to do, you’ve got to finish it in two weeks time. ” Along the way, we should give them a lot of help like consultation and going through their draft so this will give them confidence and also help them to identify areas that they can work on and in a way, also to celebrate success like I just mentioned, areas that they have done well. I believe that getting the child to understand that in every piece of work he has done, there’s always something that he has done well and this is something that we need to identify to the child. We should not be always looking why it that you have not done well is.

    Yes, there will be areas that need to be improved but we should also identify what are the areas that the child has done well and then praise the child for putting in the effort and for doing well so that the child as a whole, would not feel that he is a failure, this is something that we do not want the child to feel and I stress again confidence is very important, we need the child to be confident) Okay, thank you very much and this marks the end of our interview. Thank you! (Thank you! ) {Yi Heng and Mdm. Teo shake hands and the interview ends. } Credits: Interviewee: Mdm. Teo (Choa Chu Kang Primary School) Interviewer: Liu Yi Heng (Raffles Institution) Transcription and note-taking: Liu Bo Zhou (Raffles Institution) Video recorder: Lim Shi Ping (Raffles Institution) Note that all of the interviewee’s statements are personal opinions and should not be held against her school. Chapter 3 : Survey Results For Students Survey Results for Teachers Chapter 4: Discussion 4. Survey Analysis The survey that was done was targeted at finding out whether examinations are actually needed in our current society, among students and what the teachers think about it. Altogether, the respondents consisted of 25 students and 11 teachers. In order to arrive at the conclusion, a few questions had to be asked. Firstly in order to know the mindset they have towards exams nowadays, the students must be questioned on what they actually think the purpose of exams is, so that the answer can be derived. The graph above shows the answers given by 25 students for what they think the purpose of exams are, the results are shown as the above.

    The graph below shows what the 11 teachers interviewed think exams are for. The results show that a majority of the respondents (73%) felt that the purpose of examinations are to test one on what one has learnt while a minority of the respondents (39%) feel that examinations are to let teachers assess the students’ knowledge of the subject. 64% of the respondents felt that examinations were for one to assess himself on his own knowledge of the subject and 6% were not sure about the purpose of examinations. However, the question on its own could not help determine the true purpose of examinations, and the question of whether exams can help gain knowledge was posed to the interviewees.

    It was evident that the majority of the respondents think that examinations can help them gain knowledge, thus clarifying that the purpose of examinations were to test one on what one learnt and to help one gain knowledge through the process of preparing for the examination. However, from all these questions, a general view of what the students and teachers feel can be seen. Therefore, the question on which mode of examination the teachers feel the students do best in was posed. The results are as follow. With all these results, it is believed that they are insufficient; therefore, a question on what the effect of exams was on the attitude of the students towards exams was given. From the results, it is inferred that much of the people felt that exams have caused them to dislike learning and less felt that exams cause them to be more eager to learn.

    The last on the list, the options with the least numbers of chooses is that the students are not affected by the exams. However, to get a clearer and better view of the question, the following question was posed. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ It was evident that 25% of the respondents felt that examinations were not necessary while 28% of the respondents felt that examinations were necessary and did not wish to do away with them. However, there were also 44% of the respondents who could not make up their minds on the necessity of examinations. In conclusion, a majority of the respondents who chose a yes/no answer were in favor of examinations and do not wish to do away with them.

    After all these, it is believed that it is essential to find out how exams affect the progress of the learning of the student and so, the following question was posed. It was evident that 71% of the students did better in written examinations and 21% of the students did better in oral examinations in terms of mean scores. There are also 6% of them who did better in neither type of examination in terms of mean scores. It can easily be inferred that many students do not actually understand the use of exams, the aim of exams and what exams are really for. Therefore, the bulk of them either pot no, or unsure when it arrived at the question on whether exams are necessary.

    If the students had actually felt that exams are good for them, then that would not be the result for that question. However, in the following question, the results that were received were that most students do best in their written exams. This can be also due to the fact that exams were mainly just the memorizing of certain topics that were tested and mostly tests students on their regurgitation skills, while oral requires students to think on the spot and thus, less students would be able to do well at that. This also proves that exams, sometimes, mislead parents since the parents to think that their sons are great and extremely clever since they do very well in written exams which only require a student to memorize all that he has learn.

    In conclusion, examination itself does not help students to achieve a higher progression of learning; however, it is its effect that always serves as a tool to make students work harder and learn in the process of preparing for an examination, therefore it is believed that any other form of assessment is also able to achieve the results of the written exams and thus should be abolished. 4. 2 Interview Analysis An interview was also conducted with Mdm. Teo, a senior teacher who is currently teaching in Chua Cho Kang Primary school on the purpose of exams. The answer she gave as a teacher was that the purpose of exams was actually to assess how well the students have learnt, be it for a topic, or a few topics together. Through the exams, the teachers will be able to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the students and help them to work on their weaknesses.

    Another reason for having exams is to use it as a form of communication between the teachers and the parents because parents would like to know how well the students have learnt. So with exams, we will be able to communicate with the parent and also to compare the child’s with the class on how well other students of the same level etc have learnt so parents will have a better idea where is the standing of their child another objective of exams is for placement purpose like the PSLE, O-Level and A-Level. However, this only tells us that exams were there for many different reasons and these reasons – for the students to know their weakness, for the parents of the child to get an idea of the child’s standings and of course, for placing the students in different schools.

    The next question that we came up was to question the reaction of students towards exams in the class; her feedback to that question was that students might become overly anxious and worried since they have some sort of pressure on them as they would have to be answerable to their parents after the exams and thus might lead to the student underperforming, in another way, demoralize them. However, she also added that whether the students become demoralized, might also depend on the attitudes of the parents and the teachers around the child. This can show that Mdm. Teo does agree with the fact that exams can cause demoralization and lead to the underperformance of students as said in previous parts of this paper, the results of a student underperforming can more usually leading to a painful dressing down by the parents.

    This can also lead to the child losing his self esteem and in the end feel depressed and lead to undesirable things from happening. In all the examples given before, I’m sure all of you do not want those things from happening. We also took a further step in asking her whether she felt that parents would become more demanding of the child and give the child more pressure. She replied to that by telling us that it depends on the parent since different parents may react differently. Some may definitely be more demanding while others may be understanding and would help their child to improve further. However, we felt that the more caring a parent is, sometimes can indirectly lead to the increase in pressure of students.

    This is so since the parent may be extremely worried for their child and thus enroll them for tuition classes where the parents feel that can improve the child, but unknowingly giving them unneeded pressure and stress. Therefore, we can see that exams can also indirectly cause the parents to give the child more and more stress, even when the parents never really meant it. This can also in turn lead to the disruption and interference of the relationship between the parents and the child, arousing unneeded tension in the relationship. The same question as in the survey was given to Mdm. Teo, whether the process of preparation for exam, help pupils to learn.

    She replied to that question by saying that the process of preparing for examinations does make students learn more since they can realize things that they might not have known before revision and they can clarify the things that they do not really understand with the teacher in the process of preparing for the exams. However, the attitude of the student also plays a role in whether the student learn since he must be very careful in order to pick out all the things that he does not understand. If a student has a poor attitude towards exams, the pupil would not be able to spot the errors of understanding in himself and obviously would not be able to make clarifications with the teacher, and in a sense, exams would not help them learn. It is believed that this is very true and it is one of the main uses of written exams, to read, memorize and regurgitate.

    However, not only written exams can achieve this; there are also other forms of exams that can achieve this. In reference to this question, she was further questioned on what mode of assessment she felt that students normally do better in. She replied saying that although she does not have data then, she believed that students are likely to be better at group projects since they are given more time and they can refer to many references while doing the work, thus she feels that they can do better at group projects than at the pen-and-paper exam where they have to recall what they have learnt on the spot. There are definitely many advantages to having more group projects, owever, each mode of assessment has its own advantages and disadvantages and therefore, it is not fair to judge which mode of examination is better with only one person’s opinion. She was then prompted with the question of whether she would do away with exams if she could or if not, what changes she would make to the current system. She told the group that she doesn’t think that she would totally do away with exams as she thinks that exams have a place in the current education system, however, she would definitely reduce the number of exams that take place for example, instead of having it once each term, she would have it twice a year since exams, after all are important for the parents to monitor their child’s performance.

    However, it is believed that reducing the number of times exams are conducted, is not really very effective since reducing the number of times an exam is conducted would only increase the stress of the student at the time of the written exams since the percentage for the exams may be higher, making matters worse. However, we feel that changing the form of examination from written to maybe group projects or oral can be much more useful. When the pupils do group projects together, they learn how to get together, to organize themselves, to work together, enhancing teamwork and unity within the group. 4. 3 Weakness and limitations of the project With regards to the limitations and weaknesses of this project’s, there are four main factors. Firstly, we have limited time.

    As the project’s topic is very wide and it needs lots of information from both teachers and students of different levels, we would need lots of time. However, we just do not have that much time for the data analysis, surveys and interviews. This is because as mentioned previously, the project needs both information and point-of-views from teachers and students, not to mention that we still ought to analyse that huge amount of data, we are actually doing two sets of research under the same topic. The limited time also contributes to that extra pressure that is being put on us. We are pressured to complete the project quickly and well, lest we get retained.

    We are forced to rush the research and interviews, and we are not given much time to actually learn and absorb any of the material before rushing off to the next phase of this research education project. Secondly, we are only doing Research Education for the first time; we do not have the ability and capability of organizing enough time for each phase of the project. Also, we do not have the skills and the experience to know what to do and how to do it. Even though the talks may have helped, but experience is also one of the key factors leading to a good and well done project. If we had more experience, it is believed that this project would be much more successful. Thirdly, there were limited contacts. Although this might not seem important in other projects, this is certainly very important for us.

    As the topic targeted students and teachers, many people were needed to complete the surveys, on top of experts in the area of education for the interview. Since we are only Secondary Ones, we could only get candidates from Raffles Institution and the previous primary schools. This is also a result of time constraint. As primary school teachers may not be the experts in the field of education, There was only so much that could be gotten from them. Hence, this affects the final results too. Even on a day to day basis, attempts were made to get secondary school teachers to answer some of the interview questions, but there was just no time for both them and us. The fourth factor would be limited resources.

    Limited resources include educational databases and reference materials from libraries. Since this topic regarded the necessity of examinations, material and statistics that were relevant to the school educational system and the current form of examinations. It was a hard time finding actual documents to refer to. All that were found were blogs written by students, teachers and parents on how they felt about the examinations. There were few documents written by professors and doctors and were readily available, on the matter, it also slowed down the speed of development of the project by that fact and took a long time finding appropriate articles to do the literature reviews and formulate the survey questions.

    Finally, the fifth and the last factor is the limitation of abilities. As Secondary One students, it is the first time doing this project, the lack of abilities in the various areas of the project affected the product. For example, interview skills, data analysis abilities, coming up with good survey question… The lack of a previous experience is also what that affected us. Not enough ideas were generated for preliminary reports and wasted quite a bit of time already before actually starting the project. This was a new experience for the students, and because of the lack of previous experience, there was difficulty solving many small problems and the project was hampered by the fact.

    Lacking the necessary time management skill and were unable to efficiently and quickly plan out sufficient time for each component, the result of the project was of course not as good as planned. The lack of skills is also another weakness, among other things. Despite being taught how to do it, with lack of experience in writing an actual one, there were many difficulties. As for the actual project, the data collating skills of the group were very weak. Much time was spent a lot of time gathering and drawing out conclusions from the gathered results from the surveys. All in all, the lack of experience was a main factor that limited us in what could be accomplish.

    Good organizational skill was also lacking from the project and the group either spent too much or too little time on a certain component, causing some components to require additional and heavy editing. 4. 5 Implications of Findings This finding that had been gotten and all that has been inferred from the results that were received from surveys and interview can all lead to only one thing – the abolishment of exams. The results that had been gotten from the surveys clearly show that pupils are inclined towards the abolishment of exams, the teachers in the survey though not greatly inclined towards the matter of abolishment; however, there are a considerable number of them who agrees with it.

    After all, this whole matter revolves around the child, therefore, it is felt that exams must be abolished once and for all to stop all the harmful things that have been caused by it and prevent it from stealing away the lives of the innocent children of today! As Antoine de Saint-Exupery says “The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something. ” We should abolish exams for the good of the schooling children and of course, for the education system. Bibliography Sources: Morningside , College. (2006, March). Advantages and disadvantages of various assessment methods. Retrieved from http://www. morningside. edu/academics/research/assessment/documents/advantagesdisadvantages. pdf Singapore examinations and assessment board. (2005). Retrieved from http://www. seab. gov. sg/ Suicides of 2 jc girls . (2010, July 9). Retrieved from http://www. traitstimes. com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_551379. html The Samaritans of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www. samaritans. org. sg/index1. html Examination stress. (2004, May 20). Retrieved from http://www. pfri. uniri. hr/~bknez/examination_stress. htm Understanding stress signs, symptoms, causes, and effects. (2001). Retrieved from http://helpguide. org/mental/stress_signs. htm (2009, August 15). Retrieved from http://www. idebate. org/debatabase/topic_details. php? topicID=78 Call to abolish exams for under-16s. (2007, June 10). Retrieved from http://www. telegraph. co. uk/news/uknews/1554093/Call-to-abolish-exams-for-under-16s. html

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