Thoughts on the Exam vs. Coursework Debate

Recently I’ve come to realise that my blog has lacked my “thoughts on” certain topics. So, in order to include this more often, I thought I would share my thoughts on the exams vs. coursework debate. After all, I had my first exam yesterday, and it is exam season.

Firstly, I’ll begin with my belief that exams – in most instances – only test memory, whilst coursework tests comprehension. I appreciate coursework can be longer, but with that you get the chance to improve through a constant re-draft process. With an exam, although it is only one instance, the procedure of spending weeks – if not, months – learning information again to pass exams isn’t really a good practice, is it? Surely we should value our ability to comprehend information (coursework), rather than recall information at will (exams)?

However, there are also examples where the pressures of an exam are appropriate – most likely for its ability to be confidential or unknown. The best two cases of this are so-called ‘unseen texts’ in the A-Level English Literature exams, and the ability to “write on demand” when it comes to Creative Writing. In those cases, the use of an exam is fair enough.

Lastly, with coursework, there is no pressure, which means you can focus more. Basically, the idea of coursework should be encouraged and used more often. Either coursework needs to replace exams completely, or exams as a method of testing needs a complete redesign.

What do you think? Which do you think is better: exams or coursework? Comment below!

Liam

This post is a bonus post after I forgot to write a post on Wednesday – sorry!

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Review: BSL FlashSticks – Beginner’s Pack

Since early 2014 I have been learning British Sign Language. I am mildly deaf myself and use BSL to communicate with friends. So lately, after coming across ‘FlashSticks’, I thought I would give them a try.

 

The design of the FlashStick post-its show a simple explanation of how to reproduce the sign, as well as clear instructions too!

Basically, FlashSticks are a cross between flash cards and post-it notes. This means that phrases from a particular language are printed on the post-its, and you can stick them anywhere to help you learn a language. For me, I had them placed around my bedroom, and it wasn’t long before I was picking up the phrases.

In the pack was colours, people, animals and many more. I already know a few BSL phrases, but there were some advanced phrases included in the pack too which was great.

Another thing that was great about FlashSticks was the clear and helpful diagrams. Since BSL is such a visual language, getting the sign spot-on is key. Thankfully, the images are clear with easy descriptions. Then, if you were still unsure, using the FlashSticks app allows you to scan the post-its to load a video demonstrating that sign. On top of all that, the BSL packs were created with the help of Signature – a top organisation dedicated to teaching sign language. Brilliant!

My FlashSticks arrived last week, and after a week of trying them out and learning, it’s fair to say that I’ve definitely picked up some new phrases! I’m now looking into possibly getting the Advanced pack too!

Liam

Many thanks to FlashSticks for sending me a free copy to review! For more information about their products, you can visit their website here.

Weekly Update: The Next Focus Point

For a while, my university application took up most of my time. But now, my next focus point is that of driving.

So far, it is going well. But of course I’ve still got more to learn.

Now that the university application is done, it’s now the theory and practical tests, then I can drive!

How was your week? Comment below!

Have a good week!

Liam