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Reason For Exams And The Best Ways To Prepare

1077 words - 5 pages

Final exams have been given to students for many years. They are given at the end of the semester to show how much of the taught information has been learned by the student. When students are asked if final exams are beneficial to their learning the answer usually given is no. The students state that final exams are just used to ruin all the work that they have put into the class during the semester. They complain about the many hours before the exam of cramming information into their brain that will be forgotten in the next couple weeks. If this is true, why are final exams still around? There must be some good coming from final exams, or else they would have faded out a long time ...view middle of the document...

(Petress)
Many students feel a large amount of stress while preparing for and taking exams. In most cases this stress is felt as anxiety. The level of anxiety depends on the extent to which stress is experienced. The amount of stress depends on the degree of which a situation is seen as threatening. This threat could be either mental or physical. A 1958 study conducted by Sarason looked at the relationship between anxiety and exam performance. Her results showed that high-test anxiety is related to lower test performance. She stated that participants with high anxiety were more self-critical causing them to experience performance-interfering worry. There are many things that can cause test anxiety. Some people simply feel anxiety just thinking about an exam. Others feel anxiety when they try to predict results and think about the consequences of a bad exam before they even take it. Anxiety however, is not the only factor that can cause decreased exam performance. (Burns)
In 2012 Jamie L. Jensen conducted a study to see if the length of the exam and cognitive fatigue affected student performance on an exam. To test this they gave half of a class a standard length exam and the other half an extended version. They then gathered exam performance data of conditions as well as performance on the two halves of the exam. Their results showed that students did not acquire cognitive fatigue caused by the length of the test. Comparing the first and second half of the exam proved this. Assuming that the students answered the questions in order, we would see their performance decline as they became closer to the end of the exam. However, this was not seen. Students in the study commented about feeling burnt out towards the end of the exam, but this was not seen in the scoring results. In spite of all the problems that can lead to decreased exam performance, there are also things that both the teacher and student can do to make exams a stress free way of learning. (Jensen)
Preparing for an exam should not be seen as a week process right before it is taken. The entire semester should be used as preparation...

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