Quality tests for university admissions prepare students well

Divyalok Chetan Sharma writes

Academic results undoubtedly play a role in evaluating a student’s performance but should not be considered as the final indicator of an applicant’s skill set and talent.

In India, competitive entrance exams have become a kind of ‘filtration’ test that helps academics and institutions to test and filter a large pool of candidates – one million students may take an exam but only a few thousand universities accept their scores. Many of these competitive exams are more of a rejection test than a selection test. Due to the high number of applicants and the very limited number of seats available, students face considerable pressure. A subject or general knowledge test cannot decide for itself whether a student will be able to perform better in that particular subject in the future. The concept of rot memorization and cramming needs to be eliminated for testing. This is where standardized tests become more effective as assessment tools.

Why is quality testing important for higher education in India?

Instead of relying solely on competitive examinations, many universities are conducting standardized examinations to better assess the skills and potential of individual candidates. Since a student’s choice of graduate program largely influences their later career choices, it is important to prepare them for the type of recruitment interview they will face as they embark on their chosen career path.

Regardless of their field of expertise, candidates may have skills and abilities that extend beyond a great academic record. Many higher education institutions and universities across India are now encouraging young people for a broad knowledge of basic concepts such as quantitative, verbal and abstract reasoning. Psychometric or aptitude tests (as they are sometimes known) also apply these concepts, and large global employers are increasingly using them to purposefully measure attributes such as candidates’ cognitive abilities, personality types, knowledge, and numbers and literacy skills. The Government of India is assisting in the implementation of the Testing Framework by incorporating quality assessment through its ‘National Education Policy’.

Outside of the bachelor’s degree – understanding the candidate’s thinking process

An applicant’s personality and unique perspectives are as relevant to their undergraduate program or job role as their knowledge of the specialist. How is the candidate? Thinks, Identifying how they cope with challenges, how they adapt to changing circumstances, and how they work under stress. Many educational institutions are adopting computer-based assessments to get a more objective overview of the candidate’s psychological profile and personality type.

Benefit of quality testing

So why should universities and other academic institutions invest in quality exams?

Determining core strengths and weaknesses. The specific skills of each candidate can only be determined through tests that force them to think outside of the books they read. Standardized computer-based testing enables institutions to measure candidates’ strengths and weaknesses based on their interests and skills. If the candidate can determine at an early stage which area needs improvement, then it becomes easier to dedicate the necessary effort. The most effective way to identify areas for improvement is to take a standardized test that assesses aptitude, reasoning, and analytical skills. Students can test the clarity of their specific concepts, which improves their chances of academic success.

A way of high efficiency. Upskilling and recycling are important for all types of professionals, regardless of industry. With computer-based standardized testing, key areas for improvement can be identified quickly and easily. This type of assessment accustoms students to the process of navigating their own educational paths – guiding them to things that may require more attention, so that they can improve their skills in these areas.

Getting more ‘ready for the test’. Quality computer-based exams prepare students better by pointing them to useful study guides and preparation materials so that they can be more ‘ready for exams’ and more confident. Practice tests can help them score better on the actual test.

Preparing for the world of recruitment. Larger global employers are using psychometric or aptitude tests for hiring and hiring. Familiarity with this type of assessment tool enables students to perform better in this type of interview and potentially explore more broad career opportunities, as they have experience in this type of assessment.

The needs of both students and employers continue to evolve. With the changing and growing global employment landscape, more focus should be placed on how students have learned. With the undergraduate course, students need to move away from the content, how to think critically, and solve the real problems they will face in the workplace.

Author Vice President, India and SAARC, Pearson VUE

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