Using MegaExams

Improve student performance by identifying weaknesses

Author

Prasanth Parameswaran

Date

August 30, 2019

It is heartbreaking to see students with nearly perfect scores in a competitive exam who don’t make the rank they want because of poor marks in a single subject or topic. Sometimes, the issue is solving problems and applying concepts. Other times, it is accuracy in calculations. Every student is unique, and they have their own strengths and weaknesses. The common plight of hundreds of students every year, however, is not unique. The simple fact is that student performance can’t get better until learners don’t understand what they’re doing wrong and where they need to focus their preparation.

Identifying weaknesses

I was called on to answer a question in class, and a friend whispered the correct answer to me. The teacher was impressed and concluded that I was an expert on the topic or I had read ahead. Thanks to my well-prepared friend, I was able to give the right answer whenever I was called on to do so in the classroom. The good times ended when a test on that unit was held, and I scored miserably. The teacher was also disappointed.

But it isn’t really his fault. Teachers can only do so much; their attention is divided among all their students, preparing lessons, planning examinations, and tracking syllabus completion. Teachers rely on classroom interactions or examination performances to evaluate student performance, but these can be misleading – students can have good or bad days, and impressions stick on. 

Ideally, a series of tests over time and the scores would help teachers have a better idea about how students are performing. Unfortunately, the effort involved in constructing and conducting exams is so great that busy teachers don’t end up having as many of these as they want. Even if they do, it is still challenging to manually track how students have performed across a set of exams, meaning that there are opportunities to help their students focus that teachers will invariably miss.

The MegaExams solution

The MegaExams platform solves this problem through four distinct mechanisms – easy exam creation, performance tracking, smart evaluation, and benchmarking student performance against national toppers. The platform allows teachers to create a vast number of exams automatically, meaning that they have multiple opportunities to evaluate student performance across various topics. Performance tracking enables them to see how student performance has changed over time so that they can see the improvement for each individual student. 

The digital evaluation of exams, in addition to saving teachers time, also helps in giving smart feedback and insights to the teacher. They can see where students spent too much time or got the answers, helping them understand in more detail where students’ weaknesses lie. They can also see how their students perform relative to national toppers, helping them benchmark student performance objectively and in a way that is more relevant to cracking competitive exams than mere scores.

Improving student performance

The other part of this equation is helping students identify and address their own weaknesses. Students are constrained by their limited perspective. If they are told that they have a weakness, they will often revise the topic but make the same mistakes they made the last time. It becomes difficult for them to objectively assess where the problem is. 

Our team at MegaExams is full of former students who are very keenly aware of this problem. Most of them weren’t very well aware of their academic weaknesses until they gave some exam and scored worse in some sections than others. Even if they were aware, they were unable to determine the degree of their weakness and were thus left confused and unable to optimize their preparations. 

Our student dashboard is our effort at fixing this problem. Students from our partner institutions are extremely happy with it, as it enables them to evaluate their own performance objectively. It focuses both on time spent and accuracy in answering, giving them the perspective and information they need to guide their preparation. We hope that teachers and students will be able to use what we have built to accomplish great things and achieve their goals.