- Reduces the students’ fear for UNEB final exams
- Gets students familiar with question setting styles
- Tests their knowledge in a particular subject/ topic
- Enables students to do more research
- Helps students gauge their coverage
- Fuels discussion groups and consultation
- Guides the way that students read
- Guides teachers on how to cover the syllabus
- Shows teachers how to set exams
- Helps parents gauge how much their children read
Just in case you didn’t know, Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) question banks are those short thick books that contain different UNEB papers from a given year. Some contain two to three subjects while others contain just one. Question banks are so popular in secondary schools especially in candidate classes (S4 & S6), and semi-candidate classes (S3 & S5).
It was discovered that if students get the chance to go through past exams, it gives them a chance to prepare for future exams. Here are the benefits of UNEB question banks;
1. Reduces the students’ fear for UNEB final exams
The final examinations are everything. As it turns out, they are the ones that determine your education journey. They are the only thing that justifies the seven years of primary level, four years of Ordinary level and two years of advanced level. They prove that you’re worthy of university.
It is therefore understandable if students tend to get cold feet as they inch closer and closer to their final examinations. Here are some things that terrify them;
- The possibility of failure
- Having their exams cancelled because of some supposed examination malpractice
- Getting into a bad medical condition during their examinations
- Possibility of misfiring (reading the wrong topics that won’t be set in the exams)
Now, the UNEB question banks are usually a remedy to this, through the exposure to questions. As long as students are exposed to more and more questions that they can answer with ease, they start to feel that there’s a lot they can do.
2. Gets students familiar with question setting styles
The same question can be twisted, rephrased and reset in different ways. This almost makes it seem like UNEB is here to confuse your students, but that’s not the case. It is done to test the students’ question interpretation.
By thoroughly looking at the question setting styles and finding out what the questions mean that way, the students then understand that it’s not all about cramming the answers, but also understanding the questions.
3. Tests their knowledge in a particular subject/ topic
If there’s any way you can gauge how much your students know about a certain topic, the question banks are the way to go. Sometimes, some students scratch at the surface of things and never get to the depth of their work.
By constantly exposing themselves to more and more questions, students gain more knowledge than they previously had.
4. Enables students to do more research
Sometimes, students find a tricky disconnect between their coverage and the questions asked by UNEB. The teachers are usually guided by their pre-determined syllabus. These are the few loopholes;
- Delays in the completion of the syllabus
- Skipping of certain topics or parts of topics
- Wrong information in some topics
Now, some students aren’t the kind that will settle with what the teacher said, even if it doesn’t make sense. They go out there and do extensive research and respectfully challenge the teacher.
5. Helps students gauge their coverage
Adding to the previous point, different teachers have different teaching styles and their coverage differs. By referring to the question banks, students find out
- What topics have been covered so far
- The balances left in topic coverage
- The loopholes in what was taught and what is set
- How they can study some things by themselves, in case the teachers don’t
If things like limited topic coverage aren’t something you’re familiar with, you might be coming from a relatively better school. Some schools however, have extremely limited resources, and yet it’s what their teachers depend on.
6. Fuels discussion groups and consultation
Ever wondered what inspires students to discuss or consult? It’s these somewhat challenging questions they come across, that inspire them to go as far as possible to get the answers they need.
In situations where an entire discussion group fails to crack a certain concept, they always call upon a teacher to help them out, giving them perfect understanding of these topics.
7. Guides the way students read
Some students read only what they are comfortable with, or what they understand with ease. This is common in math where a student reads a few topics they’re good at, and leave the rest. This is almost equivalent to academic suicide because;
- Some papers totally miss out on some topics, which makes it dangerous to be choosy
- Some academic years put more concentration/ emphasis on the complex topics
- Question banks show that all topics are just as important
Once students are guided by the standard yardstick, their success in the examinations is almost certain.
8. Guides teachers on how to cover the syllabus
Teachers look into the question banks too. This Is because sometimes, teachers tend to scratch on the surface when covering their topics. Question banks help them;
- See what needs to be emphasized more
- Advise students on how to evade the worst forms of failure based on the years that performed the worst
- Determine the various ways students can be presented with a topic
9. Shows teachers how to set exams
Setting exams, especially for new teachers, can be a real stone in the shoe. Here’s why;
- It’s hard to rephrase questions based on what has been studied and what they know
- Setting fair and quite challenging questions is hard
- Questions have to test knowledge on a wide range of topics quite evenly
Of course, teachers don’t have to set the exact questions they’ve found in the question banks, but they can pick a leaf from the UNEB examiners.
10. Helps parents gauge how much their children read
Sometimes, guiding students on how to read during the holidays is really difficult for parents. However, question banks help parents assign their children with a daily milestone to accomplish.
Not every parent does this, but it works best for those that are hell-bent on helping their students in their academic journey.
In the best Ugandan schools, these question banks are usually provided in the library for unlimited student access as long as the students adhere to the school policies that govern the library. In moderate schools, the schools recommend the question banks and ask (or even make it compulsory) for parents to avail them to the students because of their advantages mentioned above.
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