Assessments can be classified into few categories which are discussion, self- report, observation, portfolio assessment, practical work, demonstration, class activities and oral presentation. In the similar way, assessment can also be defined as a learning process that provides information on students' learning and guides student to make great changes in their studies (Business Dictionary).
In general, examination is non-destructive inspection, detailed investigation, or analysis of objects, products, or materials to decide their conformation to specifications with no special laboratory apparatus or technique. It includes sensual experiment such as auditory, visual, tactual, olfactory and gustatory or simple manipulation and measurement. Besides, it is also a testing of qualification of students in their examinations. (Business dictionary).There are two types of examinations that can be found which are standardized exams (commercial) and locally developed exams.
1.2 Current Statistical Information
At present many schools, colleges, and universities assess their students by means of final examinations. These can be very stressful and majority of students usually do worse in normal exams compared to in other forms of assessment. However, it may be a good early practice for students for their future if success depends on the ability to deal with pressure and perform well on big occasions (Newman 2000).
Based on the experiment that conducted by Qureshi, Alam, Khan and Sheraz (2002) in Women Medical College, Abbottabad, Pakistan, the statistics shows that a rise in systolic blood pressure by an average of fifteen mm Hg was observed in eighty eight percent of the students as compared to pre-examination readings. The parameters of blood cell determined before examination and during examination were compared .Those results are recorded and presented in Figure 1 and Figure 2. As a result, it has been proven that examination stress can affect the blood cell parameters and bring such huge impact to student's health.
First of all, the main reason examination should not be replaced with other forms of assessment is because of the equality of opportunity it has. The best application of it is the content of knowledge and it is fair enough to all the students who have to sit for the same exam using the same method in one particular country. For an instance, examination allows for a standardized administration to a large numbers of students and thus it is more convenient to measure and compare student's standard. Of course, it cannot be denied that it is very useful for accessing individual students as well.
2.2 Test on students' performance.
Besides that, examination can test on students' performance by reflecting the way how students express themselves in their own words based on what they have been taught in class. Throughout the whole process of examination, student will be able to adopt and implement in a faster speed and improve their knowledge and performance during assessment (Assessment Handbook 2006). For this purpose, students can spend more time to do revision on other weaker subjects.
2.3 Brings knowledge to students.
In addition, students will gain more knowledge. This is because examination is used to determine student's ability to draw on a wide range of knowledge. It is to make sure that students can fully apply their knowledge in their daily life but not misuse their knowledge. The knowledge on science, geography and mathematics will be helpful for them to do better in everything in their life.
Examinations should be replaced with other forms of assessment.
3.1 Assessment gives better explanations to students,
The very first advantage all learners can have by doing assessment is that assessment gives better explanations to students. So that learners will be able to understand clearly and quickly on what they have learned after doing all the assessments. This ensures that students can absorb the syllabus completely but not partially and understand what they are learning about. As everyone knows, students who have good understanding will surely do better than those that do not understand every single thing.
3.2 Assessment helps learners to improve their performance.
Moreover, learners are given timely feedback about the quality of their works and try to improve it without repeating any mistakes (Young 2005). Learners are also given some useful advices and recommendations by teachers about how to make things better. Every learner always needs good suggestions and feedbacks from others so that it will lead them to the road of success. This statement can be shown that assessment helps learners to improve their performance.
3.3 Assessment tests children in a proper and better way.
Additionally, assessment tests children in a proper and better way as it could determine children's ability to express oneself during oral presentation. For an example, children will be more confident in talking, presenting and voicing out their views, opinions and ideas. Apart from that, a good assessment could test children on their analysis skills and creativity. Through that particular way, children will be having the opportunity to learn to improve on their thinking skills and have more mature thinking than previous as efficient assessment are more focusing on higher level thinking skills (Crehan 1991). Students will probably give out more creative and special ideas. In the similar way, students will also get to sharpen their research and planning skill after doing many researches for assessment.
3.4 Examination does not work on students.
Other than that, the reason why examination does not work on students is because of examinations usually test on students' memory but not their real understandings (Newman 2000). In the other words, this statement also means that student who has good memory can do excel in all the tests. On the other hand, student with bad memory might get low grades. There are also some lazy students who always do last minute revision tend to memorise everything on their notes without even trying to understand the principles. Therefore, students often assume that they understand and eventually they will never remember things that they have learned before. Also, examinations tests students' ability to keep cool more than their intelligence. (Newman 2000). A case in point, during the examination, if a student is too nervous, the student normally will forget about everything. Hence, student frequently needs to keep himself /herself cool so that student can perform well in exam and avoid themselves from doing mistakes in the test.
3.5 Examination brings negative effects to students.
Furthermore, examination brings more negative effects than giving more positive effects to students. Firstly, "over-testing" will also cause children to have stress. In most of the schools, students will be sitting for more than four examinations in a year and that can be so stressful to students. Stress is invisible and difficult to be seen. That is why many people do not realise the power of "stress". Consequently, there are many commit suicide cases that can be seen in newspaper in our country recently such as a large number of students who get unsatisfied results in the exam. Some of the students cannot handle the pressure and accept the fact will eventually choose to end their life by committing suicide. Besides, dreadful examinations can cause personal problems such as peer pressure and low confidence to students. According to some legal reports, students will lose their self confidence in their studies and prone to exhaustion and illness when they cannot bear with the large tension.
Based on the evidences that I have pointed out, I strongly agree that examination should be replaced with other forms of assessment. The main reason is because I always believe that other forms of assessments are more beneficial to students compared to written examinations. As I have mentioned above, the disadvantages of examination are slightly more than its advantages and it has greater impact on students. Thus, there are several serious actions that are needed to be carried out in order to solve this problem. To overcome this particular problem, the very first thing government, ministry of education, or other relevant bodies should do is to start practicing both study methods which are examination and assessment on students. Those relevant bodies will have to examine students' performance from time to time. So, comparisons and differences can be easily made and seen after some period of time. Then, the effects of other forms of assessment on students can be proven to everyone. Of course, the importance of other forms of assessment should not be ignored too. In fact, education department should try to emphasis more on the advantages assessments and also introduce this new education system to every school. For example, student's grades are all depended by their performance in the form of presentation, oral assessment, practical work and many more to count. So that it will be an early practice for students before they step into their later working life or social life. It can be said that all of us are afraid of examinations. In the meantime, examinations should be replaced with other forms of assessment in all the schools as it may be a huge burden for students. Huge burden will not only cause students to lost interest and but also lost concentration in studying. Last but not least, I personally think that the process of doing assessment is much more interesting than sitting for examination. At least, assessment is less stressful compared to examinations and thus it may be an attraction to students. Through assessment, we can learn many things that can never be found in the text books. As the saying goes, "practice makes perfect". Students will have improvement in their studies if they are hard working to do more practices and never ever try to give up whenever they fall. On the contrary, if students do not even bother to put effort in their studies, no one can actually help them. In short, efforts are to be made to lead our education to reach a higher level.