Is Examination a true test of Intelligence? (epic debate)


From Plato to Aristotle and from Obama to Buhari, oratory has been a powerful force for good in the history of the world: dictators have been toppled, tyrants have been deposed, policies have been established, elections have been won, and legends have been birthed.

Today, 4 debaters are about to write on the sands of time with the power of words.

Welcome to the Spark!




I’d like to introduce the judges for today’s debate.

First is Mr. Ogunbowale Oluugbenga

Next is Mr. Ogunleye Ayodeji Richard

And of course I, Temitope Folorunso will moderate this epic debate.


The topic for today is this: ‘Examination: A true test of Intelligence? ‘

Mr Daniel, you have the floor!



Good day everyone, all protocols duly observed. My name is Daniel Ajao and I’m going to oppose the motion which says: Examination- a test of intelligence


What really is an examination, you’ll ask me. Examination is a means to determine the aptitude or qualification of someone by subjecting them to a test. It’s a requirement to justify that a student has passed through a learning process and knows what he/she has been taught.


Examination is truly needed, without going through one, we won’t move forward. But it is not a test of intelligence, not at all. Is it now that students have two, three or more exams in a day, as if the anxiety of an exam isn’t enough, the pursuit to meet up, finish within time, then pick up themselves to finalize preparation for another, nervous breakdown ensues? Come on! It is supposed to be a test of intelligence, not endurance! Someone who falls short of good marks is being thought of not to be intelligent, but that’s wrong. Each person is different, and the way they handle stress is different.

Then there is the situation of unforeseen circumstances. God forbid, before or even during an exam, the demise of a family member or loved one occurs, the candidate is down psychologically, nothing seems to matter anymore, they assume that forlorn state. This can happen to the best of us, and sure takes its toll before courage helps us move forward. An exam in this circumstance doesn’t do justice to how intelligent that person is. Why? He/she wasn’t psychologically fit for the exercise.

Furthermore, the incidence of exam malpractice doesn’t make the outcome credible. It can occur in several forms, even impersonation. These ones come out with high scores and are being hailed for their tremendous feats.

Moreover, the questions being set in exams; how well do they assess the candidates’ abilities? Questions truly can come in any form, and from anywhere. With overreliance on online questions, students spend time solving online questions and memorizing the answers, not even opening their books, that’s if they have one and, luckily, those online question were being set for their exam. The news of their “intelligence” spreads.Don’t let us deceive ourselves. Is it an examination where candidates do lots of guess work and with a bit of luck succeeds and is being called intelligent?

In conclusion, a great man once said, ’There is no pride in never falling, but rising up each time you fall’. If a candidate fails, that does not mean he/she is not intelligent. With a nudge in the right direction and encouragement, they turn out to be great men – Wole Soyinka, Femi Falana.






Well, from that, we can see that Mr. Ajao opposed the motion: is examination truly a test of intelligence?


I hereby invite Mr. Toluwani to support the motion by presenting his argument





Knowledge according Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique, but the means of the test of knowledge has been a subject of debate over the years. Philosophers like Montessori have argued against examination as being the true test of knowledge, while many others have said otherwise and today I’ll like to pitch my tent with those in favor of the notion that examination is a true test of knowledge. But before I move a bit further, I’ll like to say good day to Mr Chairman, Panel of Judges, the timekeeper and my co-debater. I’m Oluwatola Toluwani Ifeoluwa.


To start, the measure of intelligence of students (IQ) that perform excellently in examinations have been found to be very high. Researchers have found out that these students grasp easily what they are taught and become so familiar with it that they pass excellently when asked about it in examinations.


Moreover it is folly for you to lay claim to anything for which you have no proof. Students are subjected to examination to prove what they claim to have known. As a popular axiom goes, the nature of a salt will only be known in water. So also, knowledgeable students are known in examinations.


Finally, a wise King Solomon said in his proverbs that if you fail in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Anyone that is incapable of showing forth his true worth under exam conditions cannot be said to have acquired anything after all. Thank you




Wonderful presentations

I’ll give each debater 2minutes to study the opponent’s presentation after which the final battle begins

I’ll begin with Mr. Oluwatola.



Knowledge is knowing by heart. Can you ever forget A-Z? (Except you suffer a brain damage) No! So, contrary to what my opponent said the fact that tension affected what some students think they have known shows that they have not learnt it after all. Psychologists defined learning as a permanent change, and it is only effective learning that translates into knowledge.


On a final note I’ll like to ask my opponent that if examination isn’t a true test of knowledge, what is the alternative to it?



Psychology of a human being is complex and you can’t be conclusive that it’ll be as you have said, Toluwanimi. Lots of processing goes on up there.

Intelligence is defined as the capacity of a mind to understand principles, acquire knowledge and apply it to practice; ability to learn and comprehend.


Acquiring the knowledge is one thing, being able to apply it in life situations is what tests intelligence, not only written examinations but life examination.





Our judges you have the floor please



Ogunbowale Olugbenga:

Good day debaters

First of all, I must say that I am impressed by the quality of your arguments. Being an online debate, one would have expected the excitement to be low in decibels.

But you, my friends, are the *real deal*

It’s been *hot* so far.


Mr. Richard, what’s your take on today’s debate?


Dr. Richard Spark:

This has been a breathtaking debate given the time limit. I must also really commend the tenacity of the debaters. Exhilarating.


Ogunbowale Olugbenga:

Now to cross examination.

Mr. Ajao, you didn’t tell us where you got your definition of examination from. Is it your own definition?

You have 2 mins to respond.

And your time starts now…


Time up.

Mr Tola, why did you define *knowledge* without defining the key word, *intelligence*?


Oluwatola Toluwani Ifeoluwa:

I actually rushed through it…. It was a mix-up.


Ogunbowale Olugbenga:

I see. I must commend you for ending your rebuttal with a question.

I’m done. Mr. Richard, over to you.


Dr Richard Spark:

Oh yes. Thank you, Mr. Olugbenga.

I do have a liking for good presentation and aesthetic appeal. As this is an online debate where debaters type their arguments, Mr. Ajao can you explain why there is apparently no spacing between the paragraphs of your first piece? Thank you.


Daniel Ajao:

Sir, I don’t like giving excuses.


Dr. Richard Spark:

Over now to Mr. Toluwanimi.

While you had a good presentation of your points the header for the topic of debate was boldly written but off the proposed topic. Please, give a brief explanation for this? Thanks.



And now, the results!

Dr. Richard



Content : 3

Logic : 4

Creativity: 3

Entertainment value: 3

Cross Examination : 1.5

TOTAL: 14.5




Content: 2.5

Logic: 2.5

Creativity: 3

Entertainment value: 3.5

Cross Examination: 1



Finally, the results as compiled by Mr. Ogunbowale Olugbenga.



Content: 3

Logic: 3

Creativity: 2

Entertainment: 1.5

Cross examination: 0

Total: 9.5




Content: 3

Logic: 4

Creativity: 3

Entertainment: 3

Cross examination: 0

Total: 13




After collating the two independent assessments we arrived at:


Daniel Ajao: 24

Oluwatola Toluwani: 25.5




Dr. Richard Spark:

So, there we go… The Spark! Project X

It doesn’t just end here today. I must say that it was a close one between our debaters.


Just if you are wondering what’s up, relax as we shall welcome to the podium the top two debaters from the preliminary round to slug it out between themselves in an impromptu… YES, IMPROMPTU adrenaline filled debate.


Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

3 thoughts on “Is Examination a true test of Intelligence? (epic debate)

  1. In my own opinion/perception, examination is not a true test of knowledge, it’s just to test students how memory you are.


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