Exams – Are they past their expiration date? Mihela Karapeneva MHS | Rare Techy


Many Year 11 students across the country are approaching the all-important GCSE exams. So naturally many negative emotions accumulate under the surface. Is the most effective way to measure a student’s knowledge is memorization and forgetting after recitation? Especially when the information has nothing to do with the reality of an adult’s life?

Some feel frustrated by this system, believing they are being set up for failure. One student in particular has a lot to say on this topic. Cerys Merchant is a bright young woman who often faces difficulties in the school environment due to her ADHD. She believes “exams should be adapted for those with neurodivergent brains that don’t function normally. A single moment on an exam doesn’t show the level of progress and understanding gained throughout the year. That’s why I believe coursework should be an important part of the final grade.” Here she provides an alternative, less stressful approach to grading youth in education. Coursework is a practical activity to demonstrate core knowledge and is assessed throughout the year. Hence, the stress of sitting in an exam hall and determining your grade in just two hours is significantly reduced.

Also, although mental health already plays a large role in a young person’s life, exams can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for students. When questioned, 8 out of 10 GCSE teachers reported a decline in mental health in pupils during the exam period. These statistics alone are enough to clearly illustrate the problems with our education and examination system in this country. Despite the debate surrounding these issues, the government is yet to take action to help the youth of their country. The following question then arises – will the struggling students ever be heard?


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