Tests have been a standard way of measuring a student’s knowledge, aptitude and skill in a given subject. There are many classifications and parameters involved in measuring knowledge. It has been understood for long that tests and exams are time proven parameters for judging whether a student has the required degree of knowledge. Depending on the subject the teachers still need numbers and scores to quantify the degree of skill or knowledge obtained. This dependence is understandable to the extent that it would be otherwise hard to judge whether learning has taken place. But this dependence is itself a limitation to the extent that a time-bound test in many cases does not measure knowledge accurately. In any case there are reasons why numbers and scores have been relied upon.

Numbers are perceived to be clear cut and as humans have relied upon clear cut results even for complicated matters, scores and grades are still in vogue in academics. Judgement has been hard to make in the tradition of education purely based on dialogues with students. Apart from documentation educators find it difficult to go purely by qualitative evaluation. The attempt is to make the system as predictable as possible to avoid vague statements of purpose. Quantitative data has its limitations in that it requires many complex samples and in the context of learning it oversimplifies a student’s potential. In other words it can trivialize efforts and originality by weighing them in terms of standard patterns.

If a student comes to an examiner with a project that reflects a great degree of originality as in say Chemistry then that may be ignored at the cost of an examination where the student may not have obtained high grades. So there has to be acknowledgement of the independent project of the student and qualitative approach is needed to judge original work rather than quantitative tests that have their limitations. Quantitative tests are rigid and as a result of their lack of flexibility, they are susceptible to statistical flaws.

Creative learners tend to do better in qualitative assessments and not all of them display the same facility with exams and quantitative assessments. The principles of online tutoring have been based on student analysis which reveals the different strengths that learners tend to have. Therefore your online tutor can help you balance creativity and systematic study by combining the best of both your worlds.

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