What is better-semester or annual based system?

Education system throughout the world has different rules and regulations. There are different concepts and ideas continuously cropping up to make education of the students better and more fruitful for the students and productive for the society in future. The education system has evolved over years to make students more productive and produce greater results. The idea is to have a comprehensive approach towards education and over years semester system is introduced which is thought to be very comprehensive.

Every coin has two sides and similarly semester and annual based system have their own advantages and disadvantages. Since semester system is introduced, it has been opposed by several students. Several times application for further studies requires conversion of SGPA to CGPA. Let’s now discuss the merits and demerits of the semester system as well as the annual based system.

Semester System:

Semester system means dividing the entire academic year into two parts. Each year consists of two semesters. One semester occurs at the end of six months. Thus, three year bachelor’s degree course comprises of six semesters and two year master’s degree comprises of four semesters. In most countries like India, USA, Germany, etc. semester system is followed. Colleges of other countries are also trying to shift in this system soon.

Advantages of semester system:

  1. Semester system provides scope of continuous and regular assessment, learning and feedback. The students can recover soon if some improvements are needed and would be under continuous pressure to perform well.
  2. It helps the student to understand the subject better.
  3. There is a constant engagement between the teacher and the students. This makes the sessions even more interactive and the students are much more involved and engaged in studies and classes.
  4. The students would habit of regular study as there would be constant pressure to perform.
  5. The student’s performance is assessed twice a year and the student gets a chance to improve and perform better in the next semester.
  6. The burden of syllabus is reduced as the student does not have to study the whole syllabus at a certain time, he would get time to study the syllabus at parts and take examinations.
  7. The students can take a wider variety of course at each semester. This will enhance the student’s knowledge about a particular subject.
  8. The compulsory attendance system would make the students attend all the sessions and gain better understanding about the course.
  9. The students would get better chances to learn and research about the content and gain better knowledge.

Annual based examination system:

In this kind of education system, the academic year is not divided in any terms. The annual examination is the only examination taking place after the entire academic year of whatever they have learnt throughout the year. This system is mainly followed in most schools in India and the colleges do not follow this system anymore.

Advantages of annual based examination system:

  1. The students get enough time to go through the entire syllabus and revise the topics well.
  2. The students would get time to refer to books from different authors for the same subject for different topics.
  3. They can use resources of library to enrich their notes.
  4. The students can get time for refreshment and extra-curricular as well as co-curricular activities.
  5. The teachers can explain the subject well to the students with ample examples and references.
  6. The students can get various exposures and practical examples by going on a field trip.

Every time something new is imposed, it is bound to get some objections. Some students say that semester system is too much pressure on them and they are not left with any time to refresh or socialize whereas some students argue that they feel less pressurized in the semester system as there they have to retain less. It is argued that semester system has proved to be better for grading than that of annual based examination system. It is also seen that in annual based examination system students show negligence in attending classes as there is no hard and fast rule to maintain any minimum attendance whereas semester system is very much strict in this aspect. Thus, we see that each system has its own advantages and disadvantages and thus we have to get a balance somewhere.

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