GPT-4: The End of College Examinations and a Revolution in Higher Learning

Russell Kidson
Mar 15, 2023
Updated • Mar 15, 2023

The unveiling of GPT-4, the most recent advancement of OpenAI's robust language model, has generated significant excitement within the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and beyond. Owing to its unparalleled capacity to produce text that closely mimics human writing, GPT-4 has sparked inquiries and apprehensions about the prospects of several sectors, including higher education. This issue was most recently emphasized in a tweet by Zain Kahn (@heykahn): 

‘It's scary how fast AI is evolving.

GPT-4 was released today and it can pass the bar exam with a top 10% score.

GPT-3.5 failed the bar exam with a bottom 10% score.

College exams are about to become obsolete.’

This article examines the prospective influence of GPT-4 on college assessments and the potential for an upheaval in higher education.

GPT-4: The End of College Examinations and a Revolution in Higher Learning

The current state of college examinations

For centuries, traditional college examinations have been a pivotal component of the higher education system. These assessments are generally composed of standardized tests, essays, and diverse other forms of evaluation, all of which are intended to assess students' knowledge, abilities, and competencies. However, as the education landscape continues to evolve, the limitations of traditional examinations are becoming more pronounced.

Related: Microsoft abandons ethics for advancement

One significant constraint of conventional exams is their inability to accurately gauge students' creativity and critical thinking skills. Such exams are typically based on rote memorization of facts and procedures, which do not necessarily reflect a student's innovative problem-solving abilities or their capacity to think critically in real-world situations. This shortcoming is particularly relevant today, as the demand for innovative and adaptable graduates in the workforce grows.

Furthermore, traditional examinations have been shown to induce stress and anxiety in students, especially when high stakes are involved. The pressure to perform well can be detrimental to students' mental health, leading to burnout and poor academic performance. This issue has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, which has amplified the mental health challenges faced by students worldwide.

Another issue is the prevalence of cheating and plagiarism, which can undermine the integrity of the education system. With the widespread availability of information online and the ease of access to essay writing services, it has become increasingly challenging to detect and prevent academic dishonesty.

In light of these issues, it is necessary in the long run to consider alternative methods of assessment that can better measure students' skills and abilities while mitigating the negative impacts of traditional examinations. However, just because it’s easy to write a scathing review of the higher education system, the correct response isn’t to use AI to circumvent higher learning - but AI could signal a change in how we determine aptitude and intellectual ability. 

The impact of GPT-4 on college examinations

As a sophisticated AI model, GPT-4 has exhibited an extraordinary aptitude for comprehending and producing text. This proficiency has prompted discussions about the potential use of the model to take examinations on behalf of students or even generate high-quality academic work with no human intervention. The implications of such a development are significant, as traditional assessment methods may become obsolete due to their inability to distinguish between AI-generated content and authentic student work.

The possibility of AI-generated content being used for academic evaluation poses a unique challenge for the education system. As GPT-4's ability to produce human-like text becomes increasingly sophisticated, it could potentially produce written work that is indistinguishable from that of a human student. This could result in a situation where academic work is not evaluated based on the students' actual abilities, but rather on the quality of the AI-generated text.

Furthermore, if students are permitted to use AI models such as GPT-4 to take examinations on their behalf, it could lead to widespread cheating and undermine the integrity of the education system. This could make it difficult for educational institutions to differentiate between genuine student work and AI-generated content.

In light of these challenges, it is crucial for the education system to adapt to these technological advancements and develop new assessment methods that can differentiate between AI-generated content and authentic student work. This may involve incorporating new forms of assessment that focus on skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving, which are not easily replicable by AI models.

The end of traditional examinations

The potential impact of GPT-4 on traditional assessments necessitates a reevaluation of the higher education system's reliance on such exams. If students and educators cannot have confidence in the authenticity of exam results, the current examination model may become unfeasible. This scenario could lead to a consideration of alternative assessment methods that prioritize learning and development over testing and grading.

The traditional examination model has long been a staple of the education system, providing a standardized measure of students' knowledge and abilities. However, the rise of advanced AI models such as GPT-4 poses a significant challenge to this model. The possibility of AI-generated content being used for academic evaluation undermines the authenticity of exam results and creates a need for new assessment methods that can distinguish between genuine student work and AI-generated content.

Moreover, as the limitations of traditional exams become more apparent, there is a growing need to explore alternative assessment methods that prioritize learning and development. This could involve a shift towards assessment methods that emphasize the acquisition of skills, rather than simply testing for knowledge retention. For example, project-based assessments that focus on real-world applications could better reflect students' abilities to think creatively and problem-solve.

The potential impact of GPT-4 on traditional assessments highlights the need for the higher education system to reevaluate its reliance on such exams. Exploring alternative assessment methods that prioritize learning and development could provide a more accurate reflection of students' abilities while mitigating the negative impacts of traditional exams.

Related: What is PaLM?

A revolution in higher education

The education system is flawed. But perhaps GPT-4’s shattering of the illusion that test-based education is the way forward has provided us with a chance to reevaluate how we evaluate competency. Here are some thoughts on alternatives to traditional test-based education: 

  • Competency-Based Education: Colleges and universities may increasingly concentrate on developing students' skills and competencies through practical, real-world experiences. This approach could emphasize internships, co-operative programs, and project-based learning to a greater extent.
  • Continuous Assessment: Higher education may move away from high-stakes, one-time exams and shift to continuous assessment methods. These can include regular quizzes, classroom discussions, and self-assessment exercises that provide students with ongoing feedback and support.
  • Collaborative Learning: By prioritizing teamwork and collaboration, higher education could underscore group projects and peer assessment to cultivate interpersonal skills and critical thinking.
  • Digital Portfolios: To maintain a comprehensive record of a student's progress, accomplishments, and learning experiences, students may be required to maintain digital portfolios. These portfolios can serve as a comprehensive record of a student's growth and development throughout their academic career.

Related: Discover OpenChatKit

It’s time for a change

The unveiling of GPT-4 has triggered a vital discussion regarding the future of college examinations and higher education. With AI advancements continuing to evolve and test traditional assessment methods, it is imperative for educators and institutions to adapt and adopt innovative teaching and learning approaches. By doing so, they can guarantee that the higher education system remains pertinent, stimulating, and efficient in preparing students for the complexities and prospects of the 21st century.


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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