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  • Writer's pictureTeam Via News Didi

What should Entrance Exams Test?

Let our teen creators tell you!

Entrance exams are inescapable. Whether you're an aspiring engineer, doctor, architect, lawyer, designer, or even a student wandering off the beaten path, chances are, you're preparing for an exam that qualifies you to access the college or university of your dreams.

Naturally, these exams are also nerve-wracking to appear for. Not only are you competing against lakhs of students to get a good result on the exam, students often prep for years to be able to crack these exams.

It's no wonder that many entrance exams are in the news, either for their integrity being compromised, students scoring strangely high scores, or even being cancelled after students have written them.

And if you haven't been following the news, all of this has happened in just the last 15 days!

We asked teens to tell us what skills or abilities should be tested in an entrance exam. Here are themes that stood out to us and we think are superb ideas to be implemented:

Test theoretical ability in different ways

Many of our teens expressed a need for entrance exams to be conducted in different modalities. After all, a test doesn't need to be just pen and paper in order for it to test your abilities.

Anoushka, a 11th grader, highlights an important point in the numbers and diversity of the student population in India.

It is very important for entrance exams to cater to all kinds of students, especially with the student population India has. With the talent that our country offers, we can reach great heights only when multitudes of specialities and learning types and taken into account.

Keeping these various learning types in mind, Prithvi a 10th grader suggests various means that test designers could try like "interviews, experiments, and actual on ground work"!

It's not just about Theory, test the Practical too!

Prithvi goes on to build on her argument, and underscores yet another facet that entrance exams should take into account - why are they all theory?

Communication skills, writing skills, expression skills. Students should be tested on how they handle different situations, real-life situations related to their career. It is unfair to just trust theoretical knowledge (as a measure of knowledge) instead of both theoretical and practical. Students should be tested on their critical and analytical skills and how they differentiate between right and wrong information.

Test + Interview = Perfection :D

Come test day, it's a strange sight if you don't see hordes of students, nose deep in a book, prattling off facts to themselves, or revising one last concept before they enter exam halls. This stress obviously can' show you what the child is truly capable of.

Aasmaa, a 10th grader, emphasises exactly this when she suggests that entrance exams should be accompanied by interviews!

Rather than solely testing the knowledge of the students, their grit, determination, endurance, communication skills, and state of mental health must also be tested in an interview. In my opinion, an aspiring student must also be mentally strong to be able to endure the whips and scorns of the arduous pursuing of the subject.

Skills, not just knowledge related to your Subject of Choice

Entrance exams tend to boil down everything you know about ta subject to your ability to memorise information related to your field of study. Urging to add to this experience, a teen shares that exams should be testing

skills related to the field of study you want to pursue, not just your ability to memorize what's written in a textbook.

Another teen adds, qualifying what these skills could possibly be,

Your aptitude (in the subject) +writing/reading/comprehension skills in any language. (We should also have) critical thinking questions that test your decision making skills.

All of this is well and good, but it'll probably be a while before we get around to truly re-imagined entrance exams. In the meantime,

How do we cope with high-pressure situations (like these entrance exams!)?

Sanjana, a first year Psychology student has some helpful tips for those of us looking to take this anxiety-filled plunge:

  • First, self-belief and a feeling that they can ace the exam. This will decrease their anxiety and make it easier for them to give the exam.

  • The second is concentration. A lot of us are very distracted by even a single pin drop, which doesn't help us in preparing for exams. Pro-tip: Take enough breaks - it boosts concentration!

  • The last one is acceptance and not comparing yourself with others. Discussing how they gave their exams or comparing the results of it with others may induce self doubt in themselves which can pull them down. Accepting their mark and having confidence in their skills and knowledge should also be an important skill!

So, there you have it, folks. If any of you are thinking of designing an entrance exam, the experts have said it all.

And if you're preparing to take one, we hope those tips help!

Written by Team Via News Didi

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