PERECPECTIVE ON THE STRUCTURED ORAL EXAMINATION
Basrah Journal of Surgery,
2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 0-0
AbstractOral examination, sometimes called viva which is a Spanish word means alive or vital,
should be considered seriously because it gives a clear and direct impression about the
student's level of education, and how to behave when facing difficult situation.
Considerable number of students feels very unhappy about oral examination and
probably prefers the written ones. Oral examination also gives an idea about the
personality, the behavior, the way of communication, and the response of the student to
a difficult situation. Napoleon the French commander said: it is easier for hire to
participate thousand times in a battle field than to site once in the examination hall.
Oral examination is one of the oldest methods of student's evaluation, and probably it
was the only way to examine in the ancient days.
In oral examination, the students rights should come on the top of everything and the
benefit of doubt should be on the student's side always. Unfortunately, sometimes mix
up occurs between under and post graduate students and even between different levels
of post graduate students, the same question may be given to all levels for that reason a
clear cut sharp line should be drawn between the different levels of students, and
specifications in the questions for each level in mandatory.
Almost all students are anxious during oral examination, this anxiety is usually
associated with lower oral score, therefore sympathy and empathy is necessary from the
To perform oral examination, four corner stones are mandatory which consist of
students, examiners, questions and examination hall. Perils and pitfalls may arise in any
of the above.
The author is putting down his perspective on the structured oral examination which
consist of giving mark for each separate questions in addition to separate and secret
score from each member of the examination committee, and how ideally should be
performed to reduce or to avoid pitfalls and achieve justice as much as possible.
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