A recent question about reducing stress in oral examinations asserted that

Oral exams can have various pedagogical benefits in certain circumstances

Based on the reputation of the poster I'm inclined to believe this, but what exactly are these benefits? As an engineer who has never had an oral examination in my academic career (excluding thesis and standard presentations), it's not clear to me what the benefits are. The only intuitive benefit I can think of is for courses where the oral aspect is inherent in the subject matter, such as foreign language or debate. Are there benefits that are more general and not directly tied to the subject? Are there subjects for which an oral exam is never appropriate?

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    "As an engineer who has never had an oral examination in my academic career (...) courses where the oral aspect is inherent in the subject matter, such as foreign language or debate" - or engineering. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 16:41
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    Much the same advantages as why companies call people to interviews. Except that examiner should not be persuaded off the likability of a person
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 8:12
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    I haven't seen a point raised that the student is able to clarify the question before answering. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:58
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    Well, for one, it's an important part of the protocol to rule out hoof and mouth disease.
    – user23776
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 23:10
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    Memorization vs. Understanding IMHO...
    – PhD
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 0:47

13 Answers 13


Pedagogical advantages:

  • It is much easier to catch misunderstandings early and thus "rescue" an answer. After all, bad exam questions aren't that rare (bad as in: if the student has a very good understanding of the subject, they may be able to guess what topic the examiner has in mind).
  • Misconceptions can be corrected: while a written exam gives a snapshot of what the student understood or not, in an oral exam the examiner can ask the student to think again if the answer is wrong. Or can give a counterexample that takes into account the student's answer
  • In the end, an oral exam can be a discourse on a subject, which IMHO allows for better/easier grading.
  • Related: the difficulty can be adjusted during the exam according to how much the student knows.
  • Many oral exams I had had a "mixed" approach for deciding how deep into each subject to go: often 2 subjects were covered in depth (one by choice of the student, one by choice of the examiner) and a number of other topics touched. Particularly letting the student choose a subject of their liking (usually as the beginning of the exam) is not possible with written exams.

Practical consideration:

  • if only few students are to be examined, oral exams take much less time for the examiner.


  • If the examiner is somewhat off in estimating the difficulty of their questions, a written exam at least has the same questions for every student.
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    "is not possible with written exams" - well, it's unusual, although there are indeed approaches to allow for this. I remember a history teacher back in my secondary education who liked including one "essay" question in each exam, in the form of "Describe a part of a crusade from a crusader's point of view." (or whichever topic was being tested). Each correct statement would contribute a point to the maximum score for that question. Pupils were then free to write about daily life in the invaded places, the crusader chatting with a fellow crusader about the purpose and background of the ... Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 20:40
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    ... crusades, an inner monologue of the crusader in which he ponders which areas of the world have already been "blessed" this way, etc. To a lesser extent, I have also seen this in academia; for instance, a written software engineering exam might contain a question such as "Describe a common quality assurance problem in large software projects." The concrete topic described and the focus (possible countermeasures? concrete technical effects? social reasons? ...) of the answer are then up to the student. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 20:41
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    @WeckarE.: I see nothing wrong with that. In a way, most exam questions are "creative writing", just that the requested information that must be conveyed by the answer is usually more restricted. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 10:59
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    ... And, to come back to the topic, that seems just like claiming oral exams are bad because clear pronunciation, ad-hoc-forming of sentences, and a slight choice of topic during a conversation are "entirely outside the learning goals" when testing, for instance, the basics of programming or of biology. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:12
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    @WeckarE.: Seems like something to learn then. In plenty of disciplines, you'll face the situation that you have to convey a concept to someone by telling a tangible example. Knowing how far to go in that example without overthinking it is exactly the skill that is trained by narrative questions. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:20

Oral and written exams test largely different skill sets. Of course there is some overlap, but not that much. Some examples:

In oral exams you can test the ability to explain things much easier than in a written exam. On the other hand, actual problem solving can be tested easier (and more efficient) in a written exams. In an oral exam you can watch the students thinking (given that you asked the right question), and this gives you the possibility to ask very difficult questions or even question where no answer is known - of course in these cases you should not grade on the base of the "correctness" of the answer, but on the grounds of they approaches the student took. So you can somehow examine if the student did mastered the material to the point that it can be applied to new and unknown situations without the risk of "taking the wrong approach, ran out of time, no points" since you, as examiner, can give feedback on the taken approach but also you can see if the techniques are applied in correctly (even if they will not work out in the end).

A specific example of the latter: If you teach integration techniques and ask the student to find an antiderivative of a complicated function, the student chooses some technique (substitution, say). The technique is applied correctly, but then the student realizes that the substitution was not a good one. By contrast, it could also be, that the student know the right substitution, can explain why this has to work, but fails to work out the details. Both situations may also occur in a written exams, but the examiner can usually not infer what has happened.

Another pedagogic advantage is, that there is immediate feedback for the student, not only during the exam, but also at the end. For a written exam student have to wait somewhere between hours and week to get a grade or even pass-or-fail, while for an oral exam the result is announced after a few minutes (at least where I am).

From the examiners point of view, written exams scale better to large groups, as the grading can be parallelized (by hiring people to do it) or also automated to some extend, while oral exams just scale linearly in the number of students but have a smaller "baseline" (meaning that preparing zero oral exams costs basically zero time while preparing a written exam where nobody shows up, costs a few hours). For me, the break even point is about 25 to 35 students (depending on the topic).

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    "For me, the break even point is about 25 to 35 students" - really interesting detail. In the applied CS areas I am involved with, the break-even point is as low as at 5 to 10 students among my acquaintances. This probably depends a lot on department and exam culture. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 20:55
  • @O.R.Mapper I keep an oral part in the exams up to 70-80 students. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 21:43
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    I was just giving my estimated break even point, but I actually had oral exams for about 150 students...
    – Dirk
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:07
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    Preparing a written exam where nobody shows up costs zero if you can recycle the unused text for the next session... Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:34
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    …if there is a next session…
    – Dirk
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 23:40

I wrote an answer based on my personal experiences, but here is another based entirely on the literature.

From [1], well-designed oral exams can increase student success:

Scores on the oral examinations in advanced inorganic chemistry are usually about 15–20% higher compared to scores on written examinations over similar material. All students who performed at an unsatisfactory level on the first quiz in the introductory course earned a satisfactory mark after taking the oral quiz. Four probable reasons explain the higher scores:

  1. The most significant contributor to higher grades is the self-correcting nature of the oral format—students always arrive at a correct response before moving on to the next question. This correct response, even though they might have been assisted to reach it, sets the stage for them to answer subsequent questions correctly. On traditional written examinations, missing the first part of a multipart question often results in answering all parts of the question incorrectly.

  2. Requiring students to think aloud during the oral examination makes them think more carefully. This extra measure of care is often evident as a student will start a response, and then, even before they have completed their initial thought, will see a better way to look at the problem and logically work their way to a correct answer from a new starting point.

  3. The oral examination tests a relatively small body of material and students are able to focus their study efforts. This focus is surely intensified by the knowledge that the testing will be done one-on-one. They do not want to do poorly in such a personal situation.

  4. When testing some concepts, such as crystal packing or molarity, the questions are concrete in that students have objects to manipulate.

and this is especially true of weaker students:

Struggling students, in particular, appear to benefit from the oral examination format. The success of these students seems largely to derive from the increase in motivation as a result of personalized strategy instruction, an important component of the ICML. Personalized strategy instruction leads to improved performance and the satisfaction of doing well increases their desire to continue doing well. Many of these weaker students fear college-level chemistry before entering the course. Doing poorly on the first quiz confirms the view they hold of themselves as learners of scientific material. The personal, early intervention that oral quizzes provide enables them to perform better the rest of the semester.

Also, students think that oral exams do a better job of assessing what they know:

Student comments about the oral examinations obtained in anonymous course evaluations and personal exit interviews at the end of the term have always been consistent and enlightening. Most students believe that the oral examination provided a fair reflection of their knowledge. They were satisfied with their performance and would welcome oral examinations in other classes. Most students reported studying more for the oral examinations. Surprisingly, about half of the students interviewed volunteered that the oral examination provided a better reflection of their knowledge compared to written examinations because on written exams they could write something that was “fairly close” to being correct and get by with it. These students thought that the oral exam format made them demonstrate their understanding of the material.

For further reading, here's a small reference list:

[1] Roecker, L., 2007. Using Oral Examination as a technique to assess student understanding and teaching effectiveness. J. Chem. Educ, 84(10), p.1663.

[2] Luckie, D.B., Rivkin, A.M., Aubry, J.R., Marengo, B.J., Creech, L.R. and Sweeder, R.D., 2013. Verbal Final Exam in Introductory Biology Yields Gains in Student Content Knowledge and Longitudinal Performance. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 12(3), pp.515-529.

[3] Dicks, A.P., Lautens, M., Koroluk, K.J. and Skonieczny, S., 2012. Undergraduate oral examinations in a university organic chemistry curriculum. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(12), pp.1506-1510.

[4] Marino, R., Clarkson, S., Mills, P.A., Sweeney, W.V. and DeMeo, S., 2000. Using poster sessions as an alternative to written examination—the poster exam. J. Chem. Educ, 77(9), p.1158.

[5] Pearce, G. and Lee, G., 2009. Viva voce (oral examination) as an assessment method insights from marketing students. Journal of Marketing Education, 31(2), pp.120-130.

[6] Sayre, E.C., 2014. Oral exams as a tool for teaching and assessment. Teaching Science, 60(2), p.29.


One detail I have not seen mentioned in the other excellent answers: oral exams can be especially beneficial in classes where students work on a significant group project. An individual oral exam is a great way to assess

  • each student's role in the group (I have found the oral exam to be much more effective than other assessment methods for detecting freeloaders and making sure that their grade accurately reflects what they did or didn't do),
  • the depth with which they understand the part of the project they were primarily responsible for,
  • the extent to which they understand the rest of the project, and
  • how it all relates to the core course material.

This last item is especially important; an oral exam makes it easy to distinguish between students who just managed to hack together something that works, looks good on paper, and sounds good in a prepared presentation, vs. students who understood the material they were supposed to have been learning, and actually applied it to their project work. This is true of individual projects, too, not only group projects.

I also favor some "unusual" kinds of oral exams which have specific additional benefits. For example, I have used:

  • A poster exam, in which students prepare a poster and present it to peers and faculty in the department at a class poster session. (In this case, the oral exam is conducted during the poster session - the examiner circulates and spends some time at each poster, asking questions.) I like this approach because students get to practice creating a scientific poster, and (as described in Using Poster Sessions as an Alternative to Written Examination—The Poster Exam)

    Students' communication and organizational skills, their depth of knowledge of a particular topic, and their conceptual understanding of the topic are probed by the poster exam. Students report that the poster exam is more enjoyable and a more effective learning tool than traditional exams.

  • An interview exam, in which students have a mock "job interview" with me. In the interview, I ask them questions about the topic of the course and their project work in the course, similar to the kinds of questions they are likely to get in a job interview. I like this because they tell me later that they were more prepared for real job interviews as a result :)


Mama always said life was like an oral exam. You never know what question you're gonna get.

The other excellent answers here highlight how oral and written exams test different student's skills, and how the interaction between student and professor is different. I would like to add that, in my experience, oral exams have also a training purpose: they train students on explaining things about topics chosen at random in a broad range. Is this a useful skill to develop? I will make an example, just one, and let you judge.

When I was a student, I used to earn some money by tutoring high school and university students on mathematics, physics, electronics and programming. Thus, I would arrive at the student's home to hear something like:

Could we do maths and programming today? I had those subjects this morning and there are a few things I didn't understand.

Yes, of course, we could do that. After all, I was there for that and get some filthy money in reward:

The professor explained the Riemann integral, but I didn't understand it. Could you please explain it to me again?

Isn't this a typical example of oral exam question? With the added difficulties that, at university, you had probably studied the Riemann integral a long time ago, and with more advanced tools than those you can employ to explain the topic to a high-school student. So you have to improvise an explanation, and possibly a good explanation for a high-school student, so that you can keep on earning money.

Once the maths part is over, and you start to relax, the student shoots the programming question (real question received from a 16-year old high school student):

This morning we had classwork, and the professor gave us the task to develop an assembly program to have a two-way communication between terminals: the top half of the screen should show the text received from remote; the bottom half the text keyed in by the user. We had two hours to develop the program, but I think everyone failed. How could I have done it? The professor really didn't explain how to manage two tasks simultaneously.

And so, for instance, you find yourself improvising a lecture on coroutines.

When I was a student, oral exams were the norm, and I've found them an invaluable (almost free) practice to develop my explanatory skills. Skills that, for instance, can be used to earn some money. Of course, if you don't have any background on a topic, you cannot make it up, but once you have a solid background, being used at explaining things helps a lot.


One of the great advantages of oral exams is that they can be interactive. Oral exams allow you to adjust your questions based upon the level of understanding the student has demonstrated as they responded to prior questions.

This allows you to quickly narrow in on how well the student understands a subject. If a student clearly understands a subject well, you can ask more advanced questions; if they are struggling, you can ask more basic questions. (Alternatively, if a student clearly knows one topic very well, you can move on to another topic without wasting time asking further questions about it.) In this way, you can often quickly get a very good sense of the student's depth of understanding.

Also, when a student is struggling, you can often get a good sense for why they are stuck, by asking them to talk through their thought process. And, when a student has a misconception or goes awry somewhere, you can ask a follow-up question or probe related concepts to see whether this reflects a deeper issue or just a minor misunderstanding. Or, maybe this student doesn't know how to approach the problem, but once they have an approach they're able to work through the details -- or vice versa. These often become apparent pretty quickly in an oral exam.

In contrast, a written exam must provide a fixed set of questions to all students, with no opportunity to adjust based on answers to past questions.

You might notice that job interviews are typically more like an oral exam than a written exam; they're interactive, and with many opportunities for the interview to ask follow-up questions and probe the job candidate's skillset and knowledge and attitudes. That's the benefit of an interactive format.


Benefits I see in oral exams:

  • It is harder to cheat in an oral exa, because - with usually precautions - an attempt is easier to detect.
  • An oral exams makes it pretty obvious if a student is only able to repeat memorized answers or if he really understands a topic, because then he would be able to make new connections and explain the wider context.

Side note: I have a degree comparable to an MSCS and I had to take written exams to pass courses. But at the end of my studies I had to pass an oral exams in each field covering multiple courses over several years. Only the oral exams and my thesis were used to calculate my final grade.

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    "It is absolutely impossible to cheat in an oral exam." - careful about that statement ;) There have been discussions on this site before whether looking at previous exams is cheating. With that in mind, it is imaginable that some people also consider talking to a previous exam-taker about an oral exam to find out about some "introductory standard questions" or similar a form of cheating. Otherwise, I agree with your answer. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 20:52
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    Oh, actually our department had a public wiki in which the students shared notes about their oral exams. I wouldn't consider this cheating, because that was a public resource. But reading other students post isn't more helpful than reading the courses' scripts or books. Since we had to take written exams first it was quite clear that we know the topic. The oral exams are about being creative, make connections, have a discussion. To be able to do so you need to really know the topic, you cannot stand a discussion with a professor we memorized answers... Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 20:59
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    "It is absolutely impossible to cheat in an oral exam." I'll just throw this here... youtube.com/watch?v=_N7SOj4PB2c Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 22:36
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    I was the only student in the room with my spanish teacher. I head developed my own encrypted language when I was in highschool. I would write the answers down to a test on a cheap 10 cent folder. The teacher would see a folder full of random letters and numbers. The folder sat right on top of my desk and she watched me gaze at the ceiling and down at the folder as I conjugated my verbs based on my notes. Got an A...
    – blankip
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 9:13
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    It is just plain stupid to allow a student to place personal belongings on the table in the exam room. If a teacher makes it that easy to cheat... Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 9:28

I don't think this has been touched on but the most obvious answer is an oral exam best prepares the student for a real job. There is really nothing in school that prepares you on how to react to questions or debate during a typical work meeting. An oral exam can allow the student to practice a real world situation. And if the teacher is good at the oral exam they will slightly alter their approach to the different personality types.


An oral exam provides more information and therefore more insight into how the candidate understood the matter. My view might be somewhat math-centered.

  • You can (and imo should) ask students to explain their thoughts, to think out loud. That way you can not only see whether they are able to come up with the correct approach eventually, but also what other concepts they identified as relevant, what made them decide to use or not to use one of them, and so on. You get an idea of how well they have the subject structured in their mind.

  • You can detect nervousness, help the student overcome that, and distinguish the resulting mistakes from incompetence. See this answer to the post you referenced for details.

  • You can notice mistakes early on, and correct them to help with other steps that build on this. In written exams you are left to guess whether the student would have managed step 2 if they hadn't made a mistake at step 1. Or if they would have managed to tackle subsequent independent questions if they hadn't wasted this much time as a consequence of some silly sign error. But even if you think they would, you can't reasonably grade based on that assumption.

  • You can concentrate on concepts instead of tedious computations. So for example you could say “suppose you had these things given, how do you compute that thing from them?” and have the student outline the approach without touching a single number. In a written exam, such a question is often problematic because it's very hard to clearly define what constitutes a complete answer and what does not. Which results from the lecture may they use without reproducing the proof, and which proofs should they include? How detailed should they be? I'd feel ashamed as an examiner if I found one exam where a candidate spent a lot of time writing pages of text, just to receive as many points as another did in two sentences. So we tend to let them compute something concrete, and they know they are done when they have a final result. But often having an idea is the interesting part, doing the computation is a waste of time (and often would be done by a computer in real life scenarios).

    Note that some people will have problems if the questions become too abstract. So in many cases it might make sense to give them some explicit numbers for the items given in the question, so they can manipulate these if they want to. But make it clear that they don't have to, that it's the idea which counts, not them actually performing the computation.

  • You can do multiple-choice questions and ask for a reason for their choice. That way you can distinguish guesswork from knowledge. Again the benefit is that in an interactive setup you can control the amount of explanation given, while in a written exam that amount is very hard to define in an objective fashion. Even if you say “write one sentence”, some people may concentrate on minor aspects of the argument, leaving a major point unjustified, while others will worry how to cram their three distinct ideas into a single coherent sentence.

  • You can also build on choices in a way that's not possible in a written exam. A question like “decide if the system of equations has a unique solution; if so, find that solution” will tell students that the answer to the first part of the question is almost certainly “yes”. And if it is not, it will seriously confuse some who expect it to be, so they waste time looking for their mistake or performing the second part even though it's impossible. I've sometimes tried to come up with different but equally complicated tasks based on such a distinction, but that's really hard. In an oral exam you can ask the first question without giving any hint as to the answer, then continue with the second part only after the first has been solved correctly.

  • You can adjust the difficulty of the questions to the candidate. That way you judge the amount of knowledge not so much by how many questions the candidate answered correctly, but at what difficulty they started having problems. It might be a good idea to inform candidates of this at the beginning of the exam: “I like to drill deep, till I hit rock bottom. There will be questions in this exam which you cannot answer. Don't let that worry you.” This may give you a more fine-grained idea of their knowledge, as you spend more time mapping out the boundary of their knowledge, instead of wasting time on questions well within or well outside their knowledge.

  • "You can adjust the difficulty of the questions to the candidate. " Some of the better computer based exam engines do this, based on what questions the students have already got right.
    – Ian
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 18:44

Well, I can think of many reasons to prefer an oral exam instead of a written one.

An oral exam always has the benefit that you directly face your professor or the guy that's examining you, having the effect that grading experiences a subjective influence.

A lot of people, and I assume professor aren't excluded, are willing to help others if they "see" that someone's trying. The examiner is therefore closer connected to the student which eases up the strict grading conventions usually applied to a written exam.

Also, the fact that questions, the student doesn't understand right away, can be formulated differently, increases the chance of given a correct answer or at least, in case of not knowing, gives additional information to the testee which wouldn't be provided in written form.

Hope that helps!

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    I'm not sure that I'd count more subjective grading as a benefit. Some people are naturals when it comes to explaining, sharing their thought process while thinking and just appearing open and interested even in a high stress situation. Others not so much. Is it really a good thing that this should influence their grade? Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 8:05
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    @Sumyrda “Is it really a good thing that this should influence their grade?” — Yes, absolutely: being able to explain something is arguably a very important part of understanding it, and should be graded (hence essay questions exist). But I do agree with the rest of your comment; subjective grading, while it may sound great, is terrible. Because it grades sympathies rather than knowledge. For instance, it’s well established that we subconsciously rate good-looking people better. It’s almost impossible to not let this influence such a subjective grading. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 23:37
  • @KonradRudolph You phrased it way better than I did. Of course, being able to present and explain what you learned is an important part of academia and so it should influence the grade. But if we grade based on that, then we will subconsciously also be influenced by a whole lot of other things like how often the student says "uhm", how nervous they seem, their body language, ... which are all irrelevant to the grade imho unless a significant part of the class was about presenting, in which case the final should be a real, prepared presentation including a discussion with the audience. Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 15:19

To elaborate somewhat on the argument that oral exams allow you to assess understanding while written exams do not:

In theoretical physics and mathematics (for non-mathematicians), there are essentially four types of task you can have in a written exam:

  • calculating
  • proving
  • producing a definition
  • deciding whether some statement is true or false

The main goal is that the students understand the concepts and formalisms introduced in these courses. Trying to solve these tasks contributes to to this goal if done honestly, and having understood the concepts helps to solve these tasks. However, these tasks also require less relevant skills such as calculating or guessing the approach from the solution or with luck. Moreover, some can be done with blunt memorising – in particular since some of these topics only have a very limited amount tasks suitable to exam conditions.

I know many people who passed these courses by memorising algorithms and standard exercises, blunt calculating and brute-force arithmetics. On the other hand I know many people who had trouble with these exams as they couldn’t (or did not want to) bluntly memorise stuff or are unable to perform correct calculations under pressure.

While the tasks in an oral exam may be superficially similar, you can assure yourself that the student did not just memorise that particular method: Dig deeper by asking them to elaborate certain decisions or ask for the foundations they are using. As you can dig in an arbitrary direction, it is much more difficult to prepare for this by memorising. Also, the impact of such skills as calculating or guessing, buy not letting the student stumble into dead ends or acknowledging the effort.

  • As a student I found 1st year group theory great, as there was a countable number of possible exam questions, and they had all been asked with the fast five years….
    – Ian
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 18:40
  • @Ian: And how did this benefit your learning of the actual subject matter?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 19:07
  • I only had to pass this course, as the first year of Comp Sci was in common with Maths, but I did understand the important bits like how to do a proof by induction well. However the written exam was more a test in if a student could work out the minimal they needed to learn to pass it.
    – Ian
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 19:17

According to the theory of multiple intelligences, different people respond better to different senses, leading to one person learning better from written (visual) material, a second learning better from audio material, and maybe a third learning better by using their hands. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences

Written exams cater for the writers, but other very smart people can do poorly at them. If you have a mix of written assessment and also other methods such as oral and hands on practical, then you will be able to test each student in a manner to which they are suited.

  • On Skeptics.SE: Are there auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners?
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 0:40
  • @ff524 Is the Skeptics question focused on how you acquire new information and skills most effectively? That might not be the same as the way you demonstrate mastery most effectively. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 2:10
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    @aparente001 The first paragraph of this answer is about learning styles; I am drawing Sir Adelaide's attention to the lack of empirical evidence for this. If there is reliable empirical evidence showing that there are "mastery demonstration styles", a reference to that evidence would certainly improve this answer. (While references are generally not required here, if an answer hinges on an assumption of something that there is empirical evidence against...)
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 2:18
  • @ff524 - My point is that I understood the focus of the question to be more about how one demonstrates knowledge. // I am interested to hear why you find oral exams helpful. I hope you will make a contribution here. Like the OP, I was curious about that when I read your other question. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 2:22
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    There is a lack of empirical evidence for most teaching theories: it is very hard to control for other variables, and most studies I've heard about do not describe proper statistical significance of the outcomes. It also seems that whichever theory you choose to apply to help increase learning outcomes, you'll get a response. This would indicate that the teacher caring enough to try to improve learning outcomes is a significant factor in itself. Regardless, circumstantial evidence does point towards people responding differently to different methods. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 3:02
  • It can allow feedback from the audience of the speaker

  • It can build confidence on the topic or debate

  • It can act as a dry/practice run for future verbal confrontation throughout the students career
  • It can reduce grading stress

Here is a link to other helpful hints: http://www.speaking.pitt.edu/instructor/oral-benefits.html

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