Exams weren’t meant to be easy. But tests can sometimes do more harm than good to the students. That can be a departure from old-school thinking. After all, tests help schools measure the level of a student’s learning, of how much she/he has retained in class. However, they might not be the only way to check a student’s knowledge or how far along s/he has come in terms of memory, comprehension, and understanding.
For some, practical use or application of the knowledge might be a more accurate way of assessing the level of a student’s academic strength and progress. Here are some of the situations wherein exams are less than ideal for students.
Limits Learning Potential
Tests mean that students often study with an aim to pass the exam instead of aiming to fully understand the lesson or find a way to incorporate the knowledge into their lives. That limits their learning potential, as they fully focus on only one aspect: passing the exams. That also means wasting the intangible lessons inherent in the subjects, as the students concentrate on getting a good score instead of learning about life through their classes.
Equates Value with Scores
A school that places too much emphasis on exams will create students who are more concerned about exam scores than actually learning the heart and soul of any lesson, material, or book. That’s not the kind of students you want, not if you want these children to succeed in life in the long run. That’s why the best schools aim to produce individuals who look beyond test scores and recognize the real value in learning lessons that they can put to good use in their lives, that will make their existence meaningful.
Stresses Them Out
Exams can stress students out to the exclusion of everything else. It might seem an exaggeration, but students who are under tremendous pressure to perform well academically might end up stressed to the point of getting sick. Extreme stress can lead to depression, anxiety, and in some cases, even seizures. That’s just some of the health problems that some students might find themselves struggling with. One way to keep any of these from happening, though, is for the children to learn early on how to effectively manage stress. That’s how important the right learning environment is. A good school knows the challenges that students undergo and will often find a way to reach out to each child and offer the assistance they need, whether through counseling or private talks with and even guidance from the teachers.
Can Lead to Suicide
High academic expectations can crush a student’s spirit. Imagine failing the same class over and over. Those who truly struggle with the material might find examinations as more than an assessment tool; they can negatively affect their self-esteem and confidence. Many students who undergo the same experience find the thought of failing the subject terrifying, filling them with so much anxiety that they decide to take their own lives. That’s something you never want your students to feel. The best teachers know this. They know just how far to push their students, to motivate and encourage them but never to push them to the point that they’ll give up or think that life is better lived without them. With guidance from seasoned educators, your child will only ever feel motivated instead of miserable and defeated.
Too Many Tests
Students already go through a lot of standardized tests. Having them go through too many exams produces the exact opposite of the right goal or achievement: discerning students. That’s why good schools work hard to strike a balance between using tests to assess a student’s knowledge and other methods that effectively measure a child’s academic progress and engagement. Used in conjunction with other learning methods, tests aren’t so bad. Delivered with excellent teaching instructions, they can help improve a student’s learning experience. A good academic environment will see to that.
Undermines Other Lessons
How nice it would be if life only revolved around exams. But that’s far from the case in the real world. Exams tend to limit what’s important in life, causing students to focus only on getting high scores. But tests have nothing to do with the essential human tasks—that is: to be kind, to be considerate, to appreciate. The best schools know this. That’s why they put together an education that produces children who are not just academically strong but also emotionally intelligent, too.
Enrolling your child in a good Abu Dhabi school, though, will help. Many of the best ones are now finding ways to assess and test student knowledge through more effective methods other than rigid tests that often make no room for practical usage or application of what’s been learned inside the classroom.