Examination is the right and most practical means of judging the knowledge and learning of students and timely feedback to teachers as well. It is also a common practice in schools and colleges to assess the knowledge of their students through various tests and examinations. They encourage hard work and promote healthy competitions among the students through tests and examinations. It provides several educational benefits to students.
Examination is helpful in every part of life. It makes the man perfect. It proves helpful in selecting the right man for the right job. Fair selection without examinations is almost impossible. However, the examinations have some advantages (merits) and disadvantages (demerits). Examination brings a lot of improvement in the knowledge of students because it provides regular feedback to them. Moreover, examination promotes the sense of competition and hard work among the students which improve their knowledge and skills. Moreover, examination is an excellent tool to determine the teaching standard of teachers because they avail an opportunity to monitor/ evaluate their teaching methodology according to the progress of their students. On the other hand, the examination has some disadvantages. It makes the candidate addicted to cramming. The students learn by heart some questions and depend upon them for their success. They accept ready-made ideas and do not use their brains openly. The students depends on luck in an examination than hard work.
The examinations have a poor predictive quality because they only judge the ability of students under set conditions and limited time frame. Sometime a student got anxious under strict examination condition and could not perform up to the mark. Furthermore, many examinations encourage teaching to the test practice. It makes the students and teachers habitual of fixed curriculum focused on passing a specific examination.
This method limits the curriculum to a set range of knowledge and skills for a student which stops the benefits of education for them. We may say that examinations confine teachers and students to the syllabus defined at the begging of the year. Examination ignore the moral side which is an essential part of personality because education does not mean knowledge of books along. It concerns the whole man with his mental and moral make up. The examinations test the knowledge and not the morals value of a student.
However, the demerits of examination do not lessen their importance. No doubt some of the universities in the developed countries like Japan and American have abolished them. But this experiment can be successful only in highly developed countries. It demands light classes so that the teacher can give personal attention to every student.
In conclusion, we must say that some improvements be made in the current examination system to remove its disadvantages and will certainly provide many educational advantages. Therefore, it is recommended that the system of examinations must be continued with some alternations. Psychological tests should test the power of comprehensions and the intelligence of a student and not only the amount of knowledge which he has temporarily stored in his brain.