Reason for Exams and the Best Ways to Prepare

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Final exams have been given to students for many years. They are given at the end of the semester to show how much of the taught information has been learned by the student. When students are asked if final exams are beneficial to their learning the answer usually given is no. The students state that final exams are just used to ruin all the work that they have put into the class during the semester. They complain about the many hours before the exam of cramming information into their brain that will be forgotten in the next couple weeks. If this is true, why are final exams still around? There must be some good coming from final exams, or else they would have faded out a long time ago. Are they really useless to include in learning techniques or do the students increase their knowledge even though they complain non-stop about them.
When an exam is designed well and has the sole purpose of testing the student’s knowledge on material that was presented during the semester it should expand the student’s knowledge. It should also allow both the teachers and students to see the progress and accomplishments that were achieved during the semester. Good results from exams should encourage students to continue their journey of learning. This puts a large amount of pressure on the teacher to make sure the exam is relevant to the information presented and that students are fully prepared for the exam. (Jensen)
It is important that the purpose of the exam is known by the student to allow them to prepare. There are many types of tests ranging from memory recognition to stance taking. By having an idea before hand, students have the chance to collect what they need to know and have a general idea of the format of the exam. By kn...

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...format, length, and style it gives the students an idea of what the test will entail. It is an opportunity for the students to be in an exam setting without having the need to perform their best. This also can greatly reduce the amount of anxiety experienced during the exam. (Petress)
Taking exams should be seen as an opportunity to learn. It is important for the test to be clear and have a purpose. It should equally cover class discussion, text, readings, and class activities. The students should be familiar with the questions presented and able to recall information from the past semester. Overall exams are an important part of the semester. They are a way to go over the taught information one last time before students move on to other classes. Students can complain and claim that finals are useless however; in the end they do gain knowledge from them.
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