There is no more a stressful time in a student’s life than when they are sitting in front of an exam. The pressure to perform, combined with the chance of being discovered if they make a single mistake, is enough to make most students break out in a cold sweat. Scholarships are available for students who take up subjects they enjoy, subjects that might help them earn a higher educational degree, and subjects they have a passion for.
However, the stress of exams can be enough to make even the most passionate of students break down and become nervous. However, if the idea of exams were to be eliminated from the life of students, what impact would that have on the education system?
Let’s look at what would happen if there were no more exams, no more grades, and no more teacher evaluations.
Colleges Become More Accessible
As we’ve seen, exams can be a stressful part of the educational system, but what if there were no exams? The problem of college “accessibility” is huge in the United States; this shows that more than half of all the young people capable of college are not going to college. The reason for this lack of “accessibility” is the cost of college. It’s extremely expensive to attend college in the United States.
Most students need to take on loads of debt to attend college, making it a much less attractive option than in other countries. If students didn’t have to worry about grades, exams, and teacher evaluation, accessibility to post-secondary education would increase significantly.
There Would Be No Anxiety at School
A considerable part of the problem with exams is the anxiety they cause. As seen in this article, exams do not test knowledge; they test the ability to recall information. However, they are two completely different aspects. Students can generally recall information, but they may not be able to use it to make good decisions.
Anxiety is a condition that makes decisions feel “off” and causes many people to make decisions that are “off.” If there were no more exams, there would be no anxiety at school. The fact is that exams do not teach; they test. Anxiety is stress put on students that causes them to make decisions that may not be in their best interest.
The Dropout Rate Would Reduce
One of the biggest problems with the educational system in the United States is the high rate of “high risk” students who drop out before completing their education. The dropout rate is extremely high, but one study found it could be reduced if the exams were eliminated from the educational system. Many more students would be able to complete their education.
Kids Would Be Able to Focus on Schoolwork
One reason exams are so stressful is that they are often done at the expense of other activities. The massive amount of time spent studying is often spent without “fun” activities like sports or other time spent with friends.
Removing exams from the educational system would allow students to spend their time studying in an “off” state. At the same time, they can also hang out with friends or participate in extracurricular activities. Resulting in a significant increase in the ability to focus on schoolwork.
Kids Would be Better Prepared for College
Another reason students may fear exams is that they may encourage a mentality that leads to “gaming” the system. It’s common among students that the only way to get good grades is to memorize information, do well in exams, and “game” the system.
If exams were eliminated from the educational system, the pressure would be taken off, and this mentality of “gaming” would cease to exist. Students would be able to feel more comfortable about “memorizing” information for exams and would be better prepared for college as a result.
Teachers Would Be More Rewarded for Their Efforts
The other big problem with exams is that they reward people who take a “backdoor” approach to education. Teachers often have to do “extra work” to make sure their students pass their exams, but those students are often the students who are “gaming the system.”
Removing exams from the educational system would mean that teachers would no longer be rewarded for delivering calculated results through forced “memorizing. They would instead be rewarded for working hard and training the future.
Better Student Mobility
Allowing each student to decide which subjects they wished to further their education. If there were no exams, students would only be required to study further in subjects they wished to pursue. If students realized that they did not enjoy a subject, they could stop studying for it and focus their time on the subjects they enjoyed. It may also encourage students to try subjects they previously thought to be tedious or difficult.
Better Teacher Standards
Exams often provide teachers with a way to assess the skill and knowledge of their students. Therefore, allowing them to offer better and more individualized training. The teacher can also decide which student will be offered future work roles.
For instance, in grade 11 English exam, a teacher may see that a large number of students have written about Harry Potter. These students are likely to be students who have not chosen to pursue a career in writing. The teacher can guide these students by offering them more advanced training to improve their skills and educate them about the field’s opportunities. Thus, persuading them towards it.
No More Teacher Evaluation Stress
A final reason that exams can be stressful for students is teacher evaluation. Exams are often used as measuring instruments to gauge how well a student is doing and if they need additional help. Teachers can also use it to evaluate how they teach their students. However, teachers often get caught up in the pressure of receiving good results that they overlook the signs that their students need help.
To avoid this- practical activities can replace narrow perspective-oriented exams.
Better Student Retention
Another result of removing exams from the education system is that students would no longer need to aim for the highest grades. Some students might aim for higher grades as an ego boost, but most students would simply aim for grades that would allow them to progress further in their careers.
Graduation would be more meaningful
High school seniors are only given 30 to 35 credits in the current system. These are the courses that make up the required curriculum for a diploma. However, students across the country have recently started a movement to change how they graduate. This movement, known as the “no exams” movement, is based on the premise that exams are a distraction from learning.
By eliminating the exams, students would be able to focus more on their strengths and weaknesses. This would also allow schools to pay their teachers better and students to see their teachers as real people instead of grading figures.
Students could see their strengths and weaknesses
With the exams gone, the school would be able to implement portfolios, in which students would submit multiple pieces of their work. This way, students would be able to see the quality of their work and assess how much they need to work on. Students would also have the opportunity to see how they stack up against their classmates and teachers.
Schools Would Be Able To Pay Their Teachers Better
Another benefit of no exams is that schools would be able to offer higher salaries to their teachers. Currently, teachers are paid once their students graduate and enter the job market.
However, if exams were eliminated, schools would offer them higher salaries based on the students’ performance. This would motivate the teachers to be more involved in their classes and focus on each student without bias.
Teachers would start focusing on understanding.
With fewer exams, teachers would have more time to focus on understanding. This is especially important for science, technology, engineering, and math subjects. Currently, students are often tested on content already old or irrelevant by the time it’s taught.
By eliminating the exams, teachers would focus more on understanding their students and educating them on skills that are most primitive for their future.
Schools would be able to streamline the process
Finally, schools would be able to streamline the process of switching grades. Currently, students must transfer to a new school if they want to graduate early. But, by eliminating exams, schools would be able to consolidate grade levels and shorten the transferring process.
Teachers would have an easier time finding the best students for their class
Another issue with the current system is that teachers don’t always know which students will be great. As a result, some teachers are stuck with students they don’t like, while others miss out on the best students. With the “no exams” system, teachers would be able to identify which students are the best for their classes. This would help ensure that the best students are in the most beneficial classes to their learning styles.
The No-Exams Approach
Instead of testing their knowledge on exams, students would complete assessments to give information on their learning. Teachers could then determine what, if any, exams students would take. This would allow students to graduate without expending the same amount of energy studying for exams and without receiving any actual knowledge.
This system would be a fascinating experiment. Though, it would free up teachers from having to grade exams and other forms of assessment. Instead, they could be able to focus on in-depth learning with their students.
Students Wouldn’t Feel Squeezed Out of Their Education
Nonetheless, students will require a certain number of credits to graduate. However, these credits could be earned in a variety of ways. Some schools would allow students to choose their course of study—with all the benefits of such a system. Others would allow students to choose a traditional pathway but with the freedom to switch majors. Some students might even choose a mixture of additional courses and do what they want.
They Could Take More Courses
Most students spend their time preparing for their final exams emerged in books. This takes up a lot of their time, as they devote hours each week to studying. In many cases, this is due to pressure to achieve high marks.
Students who don’t spend enough time on their exams could be missing out on ways to educate themselves that are more valuable to their future success. With the no-exams approach, students could focus on learning how to become better individuals.
They Wouldn’t Feel So Pressured to Get a Good Grade
High school exams aren’t a pleasant experience for anyone. They can be stressful, time-consuming, and even nerve-wracking for students. The grades then seem impossibly important, causing some students to feel pressure to achieve high marks. This pressure can cause other students to feel like they must strive to gain a good grade.
Students would no longer have exams to worry about with the no-exams approach. It allows them to focus on other things that make them happier, like their relationships with friends and teachers, work, and other goals.
Conclusion: Exams Can Be a Good Thing
The most important thing to understand about exams is that they are not evil; they are just misunderstood. Educators often complain about the “excess” of exams, but exams are simply a way of determining what students know. Grades are simply a way to determine how well the information is “used.”
To get the most out of examinations, they should be used to determine if students know the information and not how well they “use” it. If exams are done the right way, they can be helpful for educators. However, if exams are misused, they can cause much harm.
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