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Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

Exams focus on breadth

In most disciplines, there are specific bodies of knowledge that students are expected to learn.

Exams enable assessors to test the students’ breadth of understanding of topics.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

http://theconversation.com/exams-might-be-stressful-but-they-improve-learning-35614

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

The purpose of assessments

Good assessment programs use a range of strategies and tasks, in varying contexts, to understand what students know and can do.

Tasks must also be “fit for purpose”. A task assessing base knowledge will look different from one assessing creativity.

Exams focus on breadth

In most disciplines, there are specific bodies of knowledge that students are expected to learn.

Exams enable assessors to test the students’ breadth of understanding of topics.

Exams enhance learning

Studying for exams deepens learning.

  • Searching through one's memory and retrieving the relevant information strengthens the memory pathway.
  • Learning is particularly strong when students self-test rather than passively learning by rote.

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Re-reading and highlighting

Both of these study strategies are relatively ineffective. Passively reading the same text over and over again won’t do much for recall unless it’s spaced out over time. 

Different learning styles

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