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Examinations are one of the most common methods of measuring learning in education systems throughout the world. At virtually every stage of the learning process, exams are used to verify that the learner is ready to move on to the next stage. However, many people believe that the role of examinations should be reconsidered. There are clearly certain advantages to exams. They help to ensure fairness by imposing the same conditions on all exam candidates. They are also relatively versatile; different types of exam questions, for example, multiple-choice questions and essay tasks, can test different sorts of reasoning ability. However, exams also have clear drawbacks. Test-wise candidates can often perform well on exams without having good underlying knowledge or skills. On the other hand, some test-takers perform poorly in exams simply because of anxiety. Some teachers and learners focus only on those aspects of the curriculum that are likely to be tested, thus narrowing the educational experience for all. A number of measures should be taken to address these concerns. Wherever possible, exams should match the content and activities of the learning environment. Exam tasks should be varied to give fair opportunities to candidates with different types of skills. Other types of assessment should also be considered; assignment writing, for example, to assess independent learning and research skills, or group projects, to measure teamwork ability. Exams clearly have a role to play in ensuring proper, objective assessment of achievement. However, exams need to be carefully designed and supplemented with other forms of assessment if they are to be a truly useful component of the educational system.
The contentious argument that whether organizations can solicit personal information from job seekers in an employment application has sparked a heated debate among many. In this essay, I will illustrate the merits and demerits of such practice by employers and then provide my own opinion. On the one hand, there are benefits to organizations in acquiring information about a prospective employee, including his hobbies, marital status, et cetera. The primary advantage is that the multinational corporations can gauge whether an applicant is a best-fit or not for a vacancy by asking for his or her personal data. For instance, a position that requires travelling frequently to various metropolitan cities in the world will not be a good-fit for married people because of their marital commitment. In addition, an organization can increase its employee retention rate by enquiring about a potential hire’s hobbies and interests. For example, a financial analyst who is fond of latest gadgets would be excited to work for a high tech corporation rather than another applicant who despises an advanced device. On the other hand, there are some cons in employers seeking personal information from job applicants. First of all, an organization may inadvertently drive away the best qualified candidate who has privacy concerns by asking for one’s hobbies, interests, marital status, et cetera. Moreover, some employers may resort to discriminatory practices by selecting potential hires based on their personal preferences. For instance, an interviewer who despises a game of cricket may overlook an applicant whose passion is to play with a bat and ball. Having considered a range of arguments, I firmly believe that the merits of an organization seeking personal information from job candidates outweigh the drawbacks; employers can match applicants to the vacancies and increase employee retention rates.
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