NEW DELHI, INDIA, Feb. 13 2015 – Indian people and institutions care passionately about educational attainment but as the obsession with getting the highest marks continues to grow, are we overlooking the credibility of the exams themselves?
As India strives to increase its competitive edge in an increasingly globalised economy, there are increasing indications that only focusing on national grades is not necessarily helping competition on the global stage. In the three widely regarded global university rankings of 2013 – the Shanghai Ranking, QS World University Ranking and Times Higher Education Ranking (THE) – India has no institution in the top 200 and only five made the top 400 in the QS and THE rankings.
With over a million young Indians competing for just a few thousand places in top state-run engineering, business and medical colleges every year, it is no surprise that many Indian teenagers spend so much of their time preparing for exams. But despite this incredible dedication, India ranked 71 out of 73 nations in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests in 2012 – the exam that measures the performance of 15-year-olds – and pulled out of the programme the following year.
So perhaps instead of focusing only on how well students – both at school and as adults in professional certification exams – are competing nationally within India, it could be time for institutions and employers to consider the rigour and quality of the exams themselves so that Indian degrees and professional qualifications are credible globally.
Divyalok Sharma, director of client development at global computer-based testing (CBT) leader Pearson VUE, said that analysing exams themselves and improving them was an important element for improving the credibility of Indian exams on the global stage, and that continuing this rigour into professional adult assessment was vital.
He said: “Institutions and employers make pass or fail decisions based on exam scores. These are life-changing decisions with huge ramifications both professionally and personally. But how do you know if your exam is successful and that you are even asking the right questions?
“These considerations are an important factor in improving the quality of Indian exams, and the credibility of these exams globally.”
Pearson VUE is hosting a free webinar examining this topic, helping test owners to understand how analysing question performance and exam performance can help meet testing objectives.
Mr. Sharma added: “Test performance can hold the key to exam success. We will be exploring how the both granular and broad insights into an exam programme can allow far greater confidence in making these crucial, life-changing decisions.”
• Pearson VUE is hosting a free webinar exploring how to measure exam success on 11th March at 4:30pm (IST). For further information and to register please visit http://pear.sn/IsSAI.