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Should our school examination system be abolished ?

Give reasons for your


stand.
From primary school to the end of their tertiary education, students face the daunting task of
preparing for examinations every single year. So much time and emotion is poured into preparing
for examinations.
Advocates of the system contend that annual examinations are a good way of training children
for the stress of life after school - where deadlines and sales quotas need to be met, and work
completed methodically and with minimum fuss.
Government examinations are also said to be the necessary yardstick for measuring the
capability of each person for further education or employment.
Yet, are examinations an accurate yardstick? A person's true abilities may not be shown by
written examinations. Take Winston Churchill, for example. He was a school dropout and yet he
became one of England's greatest statesmen, a national savior in World War II. Clearly, some
talents and forms of ingenuity go undetected in examinations.
Another problem related to our system of examinations is that teachers become too "examorientated". They race through the syllabus so that they can cover everything in it in time for the
examinations regardless of whether their students have understood the material. The weaker
students often end up the victims in this race -- they are left far behind the rest of the class. They
become more and more discouraged as they understand less and less of the lessons, to the point
that they hardly care if they pass or fail. Sadly, this attitude will be carried with them into adult
life.
What about the "swots"? Well, speaking as one, I confess that I often wonder whether it is worth
it. We rush from one tuition class to another and we spend most of our time studying for tests and
examinations, or doing our homework. All through the school semester, we only have one
thought in mind: to excel in the examinations. Is this really living?
A related point is that some students are so occupied with their studies that they do not develop
their potential in other fields. It is true that there are many clubs and societies in the school.
However, many students just do not have the time to make full use of these extracurricular
activities. They have to study, study, study. So, our emphasis on examinations is indirectly
producing people who are only trained to study and reproduce facts rather than well-rounded
individuals.
In conclusion, while I realize that it will be impossible to do away with all examinations, I feel
that they should be given less importance within the school system. For example, instead of
basing entry qualifications on one examination, students should also be evaluated through the
cumulative marks of tests and assignments. Furthermore educationists, employers, parents and

the students themselves should always be reminded that the results of examinations are not equal
to the sum of the net worth of the individual.