Argumentative essay : Should our school examination system be abolished ?

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 "exam-orientated". 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.

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