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ACT students no worse at uni

By GnT - 25 October 2007 14

Following Julie Bishop’s threat to cut funding to the ACT if they don’t adopt an HSC style year 12 assessment, there has been a vigorous debate about which assessment style (external exams or internal, moderated, continuous assessment) is better.

A recent study has found no difference in the performance of first year business students who did the HSC compared to those who completed the ACT system.

This gives legitimacy to the ACT system as preparation for uni, but we still need a study to compare how those students who don’t go to uni fare under the comparative systems.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
ACT students no worse at uni
Ingeegoodbee 2:33 pm 25 Oct 07

Except at UC you can bring all your notes and reference material into your law exams so they’re not really like HSC exams at all because in the former you still need to know your stuff but your source material is at your fingertips. In an HSC exam you need to just have all the crap jammed in your head.

I’m guessing that the most effective form of assessment would be somewhere in the middle with a mix of examinations and ongoing assessments – I suspect that most HSC programmes have this.

sepi 2:14 pm 25 Oct 07

Look business is a nicer middle of the road course to pick – there would be some exams, and some continuous assessment.

If they picked law the exams would more closely reflect the HSC. If they picked drama studies the ongoing assessment would reflect the College system.

It seems people have very fixed opinions on this topic and even research showing they are both equally good has not convinced any of the die-hard HSC fans.

Lord Mælinar 1:57 pm 25 Oct 07

When your last 6 months of grind, tears, sweat and otherwise unpleasant work are disintegrated by one single meeting, causing you to restart the entire project, then you will know not to ask.

Have you ever bothered to ask yourself why the Public Service keeps going over the same old ground over and over again ?

An old trick learned by old Public Servants is to recycle the same material every 8-10 years.

pierce 1:50 pm 25 Oct 07

I get that these meetings etc are a valuable skill – how often do they revolve around the 6 months work of an individual though rather than a team? Just saying is all.

Ingeegoodbee 1:25 pm 25 Oct 07

The Romans gave us concrete as well.

LM’s right about it being possible to blow a bunch of effort in a meeting – I remember grimacing through the PWC consortiums presentation to the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce – you could see the taskforce’s eyes glazing over. I,m guessing that by his age and the fact this chap had both commerce and law qualifications that he would have been well versed in sitting exams – just crap at boardroom presentations.

Lord Mælinar 1:16 pm 25 Oct 07

I’ve seen six months + of work blown in meetings far too regularly.

It’s an essential skill, being able to hold it all together in the boardroom during that 3 hour horror meeting.

Lord Mælinar 1:10 pm 25 Oct 07

The Roman Numeral system, and Times New Roman.

Thumper 1:03 pm 25 Oct 07

Apart from the aquaduct, what else have the romans given us?

pierce 12:54 pm 25 Oct 07

Ok, fair enough VY – but there’s pressure and there’s pressure. I’d say that there would be a lot less of these kinds of meetings or 3 hour sessions that screwing up in would result in blowing six months (or a years) worth of work.

VYBerlinaV8...the_or 12:44 pm 25 Oct 07

I sat this morning in a meeting that lasted about 2 hours, during which time I was expected to sensibly discuss a variety of complex IT problems within the context of a series of detailed standards. Of course, I could have had the standards in front of me, but I am supposed to know what I’m talking about.

Exams test more than memory. They test how an individual performs under pressure, whether they can follow instructions, and whether they can complete work and/or solve problems in a timely manner.

In my work, this sort of stuff comes up all the time.

pierce 12:03 pm 25 Oct 07

Can anyone explain how a 3 hour exam actually relates to anything that people do in the real world?

Does it measure your ability to work in a team or to identify and access resources that you need to do your job?

How many times do you need to sit down at work for 3 hours and complete a major piece of work with just your memory to rely on?

VYBerlinaV8...the_or 11:32 am 25 Oct 07

Let’s repeat the test with first year engineering students and see if we get the same results.

The business students I knew at uni hardly ever did exams.

ctd 11:16 am 25 Oct 07

From my uni days, the biggest fear of the ACT students (I had done the HSC) was being faced with 3-4 hour exams, having never done them before.

With a brother doing ‘business’ at UCan (and do any of the ‘traditional’ universities offer ‘business’ – unless that includes commerce), I can say that most of the assessment is done in the same way as the ACT system ie projects, essays etc. He often has no exams at all.

I wonder if the result would be different if they looked at law students or other subjects with a high level of long exams.

Snahons_scv6_berlina 10:59 am 25 Oct 07

Thats fine but do not forget universities cover alot wider range of subjects and assessment regimes other than ‘business’.

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