Advantages and disadvantages

The written exam has the advantage that, although it has a fixed time for giving the answers, we are able to organize the way we present our ideas, revise, correct, delete, and, if necessary, throw the exam paper to the bin and start all over again. Sometimes, students are allowed to use a material of reference during the written exam – tables, summaries, etc. – which makes the students feel more confident and secure.

However, there are also some disadvantages: spelling and writing skills matter, and if these are not our strongest points, these can lead to a poor performance. What’s more, the student is alone with the exam paper, sometimes without the possibility to ask the teacher a question, in case one of the requirements is vague. Finally, the time allotted for the exam is often too little for some students, and feel that they should write with four hands in order to get to answer all the questions; consequently, they leave some of the answers incomplete, which also results in a poor grade in the end.