I don’t know who else is with me on this one, but I think exams are a waste of time and a waste of brain power. I just don’t see the point in them; they don’t reflect what you’ve learned, they reflect what you’ve memorised and all the random crap that pops into your head as you are writing.
I’ve never been a good examiner, the only exams I’ve ever been good at are foreign languages and maths. That’s because they test you on what you’ve learned throughout the year, not what you’re able to remember on the day. Maths and language exams are logical, you read through the maths question and you use your maths skill to work out the answer or in languages, you read through a piece of text and answer questions based on that. Those show understanding of the subject. Being able to regurgitate knowledge about classical social theories that you don’t understand but have to write about does not reflect any form of understanding.
I believe that coursework should be the way in which you’re assessed throughout school and university. I sit in front of a computer after doing weeks of reading and trying to get to grips with a theory that I had no clue about and at the end of the torture, I’ve produced a piece of work that has left me with an understanding of the theory and all of it’s critiques. Making a project, creating a powerpoint, doing an essay, a piece of artwork; the process and the work that goes into these things help you to understand what you’re learning. Going into an exam room and writing what you remember at that moment doesn’t.
Then again, maybe I’m alone in this thought!