Are Exams too much for our Kids?

Examinations have long been a particularly heated debate. From when we are young, we are exposed to different types of exams and tests, which aim to predict our anticipated levels of life success. From very tender ages, we are subjected to primary and secondary school tests, aimed at determining our levels of comprehension and understanding.

Such exams and activities bring about no small amounts of stress, as both parents and children attempt their best to ensure they perform well. People who perform well are naturally deemed more successful than those who do not and enjoy certain privileges. One of the questions in this debate is:

Should kids and teenagers be subjected to exam stress during the formative years of their lives?

Are exams the right tool to assess people? Many will argue that it would not be sufficient to judge people based on a two-hour exam, as various components come into play such as stress, fear and memory black out amongst others. There are those who argue that schools should create assessment-based exercises throughout the whole year. Whilst this may make sense from one point of view, considering that the whole year is taken into consideration and not just a few hours, should exams be abolished completely?

There are those who would argue otherwise. With all this pampering, we may be raising a generation well equipped for failure and disappointment. The real world works with different tests where our skills are constantly put under the lens and failure comes with consequences which may be heavy. Raising children under the false impression that all will be all right even when their performance is lacklustre means that we are setting them up to a lifetime of disastrous results.

Today’s generation has grown accustomed to thinking about stress as a disorder. In reality, stress is a normal sentiment of everyday life as the brain alerts us to potential danger, a necessary mechanism for survival.

In our bid to decrease marginalisation and bullying, we are trying and desperately failing to place everyone in the same wavelength, irrespective of performance and results. This can be noted by the fact that we give out trophies and medals in competitions, even to those who did not perform well, such as coming in last.

Although this may sound brutal, life does not reward those who achieve lacklustre results. Whilst it does not sound pretty, there is a lot of value in educating our children in their earlier years, that recognition and reward take a lot of work, and cannot be taken as a given.

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