This week's talking point is exams. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
Your personal experience
• Do you get nervous before exams?
• Your last exam: what result did you expect and what did you get?
• How do you prepare for exams?
• Do you always read the questions carefully in a written exam?
• Have you ever been unfairly treated in an exam?
• Have you ever cheated in an exam?
• If you saw another student cheating in an exam, would you report them?
• Would you help another student who asked for assistance during an exam?
• Are exams a necessary evil?
• Do exams motivate students to give their best?
• What do you think of alternatives to exams, such as projects and continuous assessment?
• Would you agree that exams are only really valuable if you are allowed to see your paper once it has been marked, so you can learn from your mistakes?
• Should you be given warning before an exam? Why (not)?
• Should dictionaries, other reference books or the internet be permitted during exams? Why (not)?
• Should you be allowed to repeat an exam if you fail? If so, how often?
• Should attendance at a course always be required in order to take an exam?
To illustrate the point you can watch this video on exam cheating.
Well, I’ll tell you that I know a girl who has to go through a very difficult exam for her studies, and she told me that she could find the answers online on the internet. She could download them and go to the test as simple as that.
Can you imagine?
So what was she studying?
Oh no! All of our doctors can get the answers online!
Yeah, that’s very scary.
Have you ever had, erm, a situation like that or an experience like that? Do you know about somebody…
I didn’t know you could buy the answers online, erm, but I know that in the States now, for all of those important jobs, you know working a crane or working heavy machinery, of course being a doctor, you have to take and exam. You have to know that information, so cheating is not going to get these people anywhere.
And later you get the job and what do you do? I mean you have to improvise that you know how to use the computer or…
I hope my doctor didn’t.
Yeah, it’s…or a veterinarian, with dogs.
If you think about it… if so many people are cheating…
… I remember once I was in a class and in this particular class I was the only person that didn’t cheat. And I did OK but everyone else did exceptionally well…
…but it was terrible.
Yeah, yeah that’s not nice, no? You are doing your reports and…
And you really study. You spend the whole night…
… and all evening. You don’t go out… weeks… just study.
So, what about other techniques? Have you heard about any other cheating techniques?
Yeah, but they date back to grade school.
That works. Start early.
Erm, I knew some people that would write the answers to exams on the bottom of their shoes or on the inner arm or… hands.
Or here also. You have to be careful not to sweat.
Well, it looks like we really don’t have a future in cheating.