Opinion: Exams – good or bad

By Mykenzie Watson, Staff Writer — Exams are a part of every student’s high school experience. It is not something we can get away from, but they are a source of anxiety and negative feelings for most students.

We go to school to learn and expand our knowledge of many different things. Learning should be an interactive, fun and a rewarding experience. Unfortunately, because of the way the state has standards set up, teachers often cannot take the time to really engage with the students and go at a pace that is in the best interest of the students. They have so much material they have to go over and often just “teach to the test”. The all important scores that supposedly show the state that the teacher did his or her job and just how intelligent the students really are.

Exams do not accurately show the intelligence of a student. Some students can study and test very well. Others can study for days and not pass, simply because they do not test well. Not every student learns the same way or tests the same way. It would be beneficial to have the tests geared for the individual student. Each student learns in a different way, so if the student is comfortable with their test and how it is given, they will have a better opportunity of being successful. There are many factors that enter in to how a student does on an exam on any given day. They may perform poorly because of illness, anxiety, stress at home, etc. Just because they may not do well on a certain exam does not mean they have not learned the material or are not intelligent. Some students simply have a hard time retaining that much information.

Exams can be a source of low self-esteem and make a student feel defeated. So much emphasis is placed on exams when the emphasis should be on learning in general and effort throughout the school year.

We may never get away from having to take exams but maybe in the future things could be different.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]