Tests and examinations are a central feature of school systems

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Tests and examinations are a central feature of school systems in many countries. Do you think the educational benefits of testing outweigh any disadvantages?

Give reasons for your answer, and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


Model Answer:
Tests and examinations are a formal, systematic procedures used to gather information about a student’s performance on the basis of which conclusions are drawn about the more general rudimentary skill of the student  become the cornerstone of education systems in many nations. However, these evaluation systems have contributed to the debate that the benefits of these assessments outweigh the detriments or not. Although such exams have some merits, I personally believe that it induces bad impact on students.

Tests refer to any kind of measurement technique which aims at describing the students’ proficiency have some certain benefits. First of all, tests or exams are usually administered at mid-and-end point of the academic year and, they determine what a student has learnt pertaining to stated course outcomes. Secondly, assessments identify the feeble areas in which a student needs further help. In this instance, the main goal of the test is to help teachers decide what needs to be taught to the students.

On the flip side, in spite of the above mentioned advantages, some limitations still remain. There is always an inherent limitation in judging the student’s competence under set condition and limited time. Many a times it can be happened that a student who is otherwise good may feel stress in the exam and may performed not as adequately as usual which leads to inferior result. In addition, when a student does not good grades he is put under pressure, both by the teachers and parents, to have good results. Most of the cases, the student cannot combat with such stress and he may involve in drug addiction or the worst case is he might suicide to relive from the extreme pressure of the exams. From my own experience I see that education is so emphasized that not getting good grades very often considered as failing to attain your goal and, thereby, failing your own and family’s prospect. Consequently, students learn to measure the world and themselves solely through a pedagogic lens. Two decades ago a studious friend of mine suffered from an episode of psychosis and committed suicide due to he did not cope with stress of the exams. I can still recall his suicidal note that said “not living to expectations”.  Ironically, in my friend’s family, there was an unwritten rule is that you are how well you do in the exams.

In conclusion, although there is no better tools except exams for evaluating a student’s merit, tests or exams still have some implicit drawbacks, which, sometimes, lead to unexpected results.

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