What is the AIM of school examinations?

These two weeks are my children’s exam weeks in the Uni. We were discussing about the exams preparation experiences with my children. On top of that, my parents, both are retired teachers are here for a short visit, so we had a good discussion about exam preparations and how important is examination techniques during exam times…

MY VIEW ABOUT EXAMS DURING MY SCHOOLING YEARS

Ask anyone from my generation, we are experts on exams. We ate and breathed exams. We had weekly tests, monthly tests…talk about exam techniques, and we are pretty good at it. We know many short cuts as well…

So, what did exams mean to me when I was at school? My sole aim was to “PASS”, even if I had to memorise MOST of the content / chapter without fully understand it.  What happened if I failed any exams? My report card was sent home and had to be signed by my parents. My parents would sometimes have to visit the teacher’s office….  Those were not the best part of school experiences that I enjoyed the most.

However, as I was guiding my children through preschools and primary schools, I had the opportunity to help in the classroom. It was then that I had a second chance to review the purpose of education; it was then that I started to have an appreciation on WHY exams and tests were useful.

HOW CAN WE USE EXAMS TO HELP OUR CHILDREN?

If we view it positively, exams are a remarkable tool to help us guide our children, whether they are in Primary or Secondary schools. The mark is a means or guide to give you an idea as to which area of the topic your child needs help in, and which area they understand.

For example, if your child scores 68% for Maths, this is not something to be upset about. The mark is not a reflective of their intelligence; it is all about how much they understand about that particular topic and how you can utilise the exam feedback, to help and guide your child / children.

Here are some tips on how you can help your children through their exams and learning:

  1. Go through the exam/test paper with your child and ask them for feedback about the paper.
  2. Identify the area in that topic that is challenging for your child.
  3. Help and guide your child in that particular area, if need to, check your child’s home work to make sure they’ve covered the topic properly in class; otherwise seek help from the teacher.
  4. Remember each child has a different way of learning, so be creative in conveying your message.
  5. If you still find it challenging, seek external help. Do not be afraid to seek help from tutors. I have used countless tuition teachers to help my children in topics that I am not good in guiding and explaining.
  6. Once you have gone through the topic, get your child to redo the test paper, and make sure they truly understand that topic before they start a new topic.
  7. If possible, try to source other challenges for this particular topic and get your child to participate. This is a sure way to really know whether they truly understand this particular topic properly, and if they really understood the topic well and can handle the extra challenges, they will start to develop an interest in this topic…and that’s how further interest and extensioned knowledge are developed!

Hope the tips above help. I would love to hear your feedback. Please add your comments below.