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Multi-choic e answers in exams a gamble


MIKE J MOSELEY

Multi-choic e answers in exams a gamble

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I’M WRITING to condemn the idea of supplying multi-choice answers to exam questions given to children. Here again I am in agreement with the late Gladstone Holder who deplored them. Holder and I could not have been further apart where political orientation is concerned since I am as far to the left wing of political ideas as it is possible to get.

So if he and I can have agree on something, that thing is worth serious consideration.

In my day, children getting ready for exams were called upon to do serious thinking in order to come up with correct answers to all sorts of questions in several different subjects. They never had to entertain any specious plausibilities at all. There were no blind alleys to confuse their mental itinerates; study your subject matter, study it hard enough, and you can figure out the correct answer every time. You don’t have to gamble.

Consider this also. Examinations are not only a means of testing a pupil’s knowledge. They serve, intentionally or not, as a means of reinforcing what has already been learnt. But when students are given several extraneous answers to entertain, this salutary phenomenon disappears. Then the opposite effect takes place. Permanent confusion as to what the answers are to specific questions sets in.

Some would say that the children are not intended to be induced to gamble. But in practice they frequently will be so induced anyway.

If examiners want to find out if students really know their work let them hurt their head to so frame the questions as to compel the unnecessary to produce the goods.

The world has in far too much confusion already without allowing shiftless and unnecessarily creative examiners to add to the amount.

MIKE J MOSELEY

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