Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Fairness in exam

Recently there is a hooha in the primary 6 Science examination in Singapore (PSLE). Some students sob while doing the paper with ‘difficult’ questions as complained by these students and their parents. For me, there is nothing much to worry about when there is a very difficult question in the examination paper, because probably most will lose the marks for the question. Similarly, there is not much to cheer about when there is a very easy question because almost all will score the full mark for that one. Thus, I suspect that the problem lies in the attitude that they believe and expect full marks if they have put in the sufficient amount of preparation. Thus, for those who have put in more than sufficient efforts and who believe that they are entitled to full marks if there is no fault from them during the examination, they probably have felt being cheated or the situation is very unfair to them.

Should the examination system be perfect with total fairness? I prefer not. Considering the education in school as the preparation process for students to survive in society, it should not differ from the actual world too much. The real world is not fair, surely not in perfect state. Although the school should provide a protected environment for students to experiment and explore and learn, it should not be too protected and over perfected such that students will find it quite tough when they eventually have to live in the outside world.

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