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  • Category: General

    Multiple-choice or descriptive, which type is better to test the knowledge of a student?

    These days many entrance tests are being conducted for admission to higher studies. Many such examinations will have mainly multiple-choice questions only. A student can guess and mark the answer if there is no negative marking system. Evaluation of such answer sheets is easy and can be completed fast. The task is easy for both students as well as the teachers. But a student should study the entire subject if really wants to answer all the questions without any guesswork.

    To answer a descriptive type question, a student should have complete knowledge of the subject and should be able to present the answer also properly. At the same time correcting the descriptive type answers also needs the full attention of the teacher and should be read completely. Then only the teacher can correctly evaluate the answer.

    Among these two types which type is better to test the knowledge of a student correctly?
  • #773873
    In my view descriptive answers are better to test the knowledge of students but the problem in that model is that descriptive answers will take a long time and within the three hours of examination it would not be possible for the students to elaborate so much.
    That was the main reason why objective type of questions were adopted in the examinations. That also helped in covering the syllabus to a quite good extent.
    Today due to the scientific and technological advancements, the syllabus is also very large and to cover that in the examination is not an easy task and the only solution is to ask a large number of small questions in objective form.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #773878
    Multiple types of questions cannot be answered correctly unless the student have gone through the entire textbooks with their full devotion. Moreover in most of entrance tests, the wrong answers carry negative markings and hence they need to be careful while answering the questions.
    Hence objective types of questions can provide the better understanding of the text materials and the students need to be serious in the process of their studies. In the old system where most of questions were of descriptive types, there was the room for the examinees to get marks by guessing questions for their examinations through the guess papers available in the market. These guess papers were so designed that out of 25 questions, seven or eight questions were sure to be asked in the examinations. Hence these guess papers made the tasks of the students relatively easy.

  • #773879
    I guess when it comes to examinations which are basically done to assess the knowledge of a person giving the exam. So it depends on the type of requirement and what one wants to judge in a student or a person. Both subjective and objective exams test a different set of skills and one can not be said to be better than the other. I think both types of exams should be conducted for better judgment, with both of them given some marks. The most prestigious examination in our country is the UPSC civil service exam which assesses a candidate on the basis of both types of skill sets. At the entry-level, though the question paper is objective next level is all about subjectivity, descriptive and knowledge of the subject in its entirety. So according to me for a general evaluation objective paper is good, but for a complete evaluation, some level of subjectivity is also required, so it is better to conduct the exam in parts, including both objective and subjective types of questions.
    "It is hardest thing in the world to be good thinker without being a good self examiner"

  • #773934
    Knowledge is an abstract term. It can't be judged, it can't be quantified. In an examination, the examiner only try to judge the amount of learning, or, further simplifying, the amount of rote done by the examinee.

    This can be done by a judicious admixture of MCQ-type questions and descriptive-type questions.

    (a) Those who have forgotten Noakhali, how can they protest Sandeshkhali?
    (b) Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. ---------- Salvador Dali


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