Time constraints are one of the main concerns for many students who take examinations in Singapore.
Afraid that they will not be able to finish their exam papers, many students write very hastily. This results in illegible handwriting and messy corrections all over their answer sheets.
While getting students to perform under a time limit does have benefits - such as getting them to speed up their thinking processes - the time given must not be so limited that students have no time to think but only time to write their answers.
The time allotted for some papers, such as mathematics, is so limited that the opportunity cost of stopping for just a few minutes to think about how to solve a problem may result in one being unable to complete the paper.
For essay papers in subjects such as economics, it becomes a test of how fast one can write, as opposed to the quality of one's answers.
Students, when given sufficient time to think, will be able to formulate answers that are of a higher standard, and which can more accurately reflect what they have learnt in a tested subject.
Koh Yi Qian