Are exams actually necessary?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This essay outlines whether exams are really worthwhile or not... Hope you will enjoy and reflect about it.

Many students these days are concerned about the amount of time that it is spent on exam preparation, and all the stress that it is suffered. As a result many educational institutions are adopting progress assessments. Perhaps, another option, however, should be for educational institutions to abolish examinations.

Stress and anxiety is very common in youth nowadays as a consequence of exam preparation and professor´s preassure towards students. All that leads to illnesses and the quality of student´s life decreases. It is well known that large numbers of young people become frustrated when they fail an examination which was probably prepared in a whole year.

Exams also test students´ memory. It is a sad fact that knowledge required to pass the exam is theorical, and sometimes useless. They are tought to think in the wrong way, because we are surrounded by open-ended problems in real life.

However, it is important to point out that the idea of abolishing exams once and for all is not good. Exams are another way of testing intellectual knowledge. Thus, students should have the option in case they want to sit for a subject without assisting regular lessons in the institution.

In conclusion, it would seem that exams have an important benefit. Nevertheless, we have to consider the points raised and educational institutions should select their evaluations in a balanced way between exams, assessments, modules and others. Exams should be held only when needed or when they are asked by students for a special reason. Assessments have to be done when a topic or part of the syllabus is already finished, so that the educator can have a better feedback of the class, and module system is valuable in order to make students study up to a certain part of the course and be able to do the next if they pass the previous one. 

Submitted: July 30, 2008

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I believe this is somewhat true. I believe that exams are harder than they were when my parents and especially my grandparents were in school! Some of these exams are pointless. I see ya point, but I truly don't believe that ALL exams are necessary. Very good point, though! I enjoyed how u stood against ya topic! Great Job!

Wed, July 30th, 2008 6:13pm


Thanks jfm!

Wed, July 30th, 2008 12:13pm


hmm, i prefer exams over assignments,but it is true that they are harder now than they used to be, and thats not becuase you give the wrong answer, its because its not in the wording that they prefer. well i speak for A level exams in the UK. whcih, is so rude! lol. andyway good essay

Wed, July 30th, 2008 6:36pm


I understand what you mean, sometimes the wording is related to certain way of thinking, and maybe you have the right arguments to say that an especific answer is the right one but they prefer another. You are right, thanks for your comments on the essay.

Wed, July 30th, 2008 1:08pm


Hey Gabriel :) I have read a lot of theoretical essays and papers over the years, so I would think that I know my stuff. You put up a great argument here and brought the pros and cons very well. The most appealing thing to me, is the flow of this work. It is very fluid. You have a talent, in writing and in debating. Great work. Take care, Regan

Wed, July 30th, 2008 7:34pm


Thanks Regan for your comments.

Wed, July 30th, 2008 1:04pm


That's great!!! I love how you've looked at both sides of the argument, and it's true what you have said, However i would choose assignments over exams any day :) Keep writing xxx

Wed, July 30th, 2008 9:05pm


Allright! thanks

Wed, July 30th, 2008 3:34pm


Yes I agree with the concept...and the suggestion is really great. In India, Medical colleges have started the exams just the way u have written...i know that is tough for students but then in the long run, it is beneficial...

I know how difficult it was to appear for our final exams in Medical schools...which one question would determine my fate in such a vast course?? Gosh what a tension...

Wed, July 30th, 2008 9:48pm


haha. cool. i think i agree with this... :D

Thu, July 31st, 2008 2:01am


It is said, that we are the most tested generation since school started a long long time ago.
and now, they are pretty much a big pain and sore in the mind.
But like the teachers always say, 'It's important for your education.'
A wonderful essay by the way!

Thu, July 31st, 2008 5:20pm


I really do hate exams when they come. all the work and studying and the bubbles to fill in, urgh!!
But it's supposed to be important right??
Heck yeah!
By the way, a wonderful idea!!

Sat, August 2nd, 2008 5:10am

Dirk van Rooyen

I'm a student myself and agree that there should be a balance between writing exams and not. In certain subjects like Mathematics I think there is no need for writing an exam because you are tested on you mathematical skills during the semester. However in subjects like Anatomy a high level of theoretical knowledge is required which suggests that an exam is needed to test all your acquired knowledge as a whole and how to apply it. I also think that exams these days are not useless in the sense that they only ask you to write down what you know. It tests your knowledge and how you apply it. A good idea could be to have oral exams where your knowledge and how you apply and understand it is tested via a two-way conversation.

Sat, August 2nd, 2008 8:59am


Right! But the essay suggests assessments in order to TEST knowledge, thus, all the drawbacks of exams stated in the essay are avoided. Thanks for commenting.

Sat, August 2nd, 2008 5:39am


WOW. What you wrote is so truthful. I hate having to stress over exams. Good work! Keep writing and keep me updated please! =)

Sat, August 2nd, 2008 3:18pm

Zia Jaycee

i loved what you wrote...thanks for putting both sides of opinion. I believe exams are very hard and very stressful but as a student you have to learn to prepare yourself and I think they are an important part of school...thanks so much and keep writing :) -zia

Sat, August 2nd, 2008 9:59pm


Balanced and very well written essay. I love exams personally, i even wait for them but other methods of evaluation can do more justice to students overall.

All students are not alike, they can't be classified as merely intelligent or dull, each learner has a different talent compared to others and exam system doesn't suit all.

You have raised an important issue... Keep going

Sun, August 3rd, 2008 5:36pm


That´s true. Thanks.

Sun, August 3rd, 2008 10:51am

Nova chan

Perhaps we feel that exams are pointless because of the questions asked (duh).
The question should be testing the understanding behind the knowledge. Anybody can parrot of an entire page, ask them to explain and perhaps we get into the deep end. Exams arent entirely useless, perhaps if they were id b skippin them, but it does make one remeber things you would rather forget ie log.
Kudos on the essay

Mon, August 4th, 2008 4:58am

Penelope Garenther

I dont really like exams all too much. I get so stressed over them and go with out sleeping and eating for days before the exam just cause I'm nervous that I'll fail. I agree that there should be certain times to take exams and not just throw them at students whenever they feel like it.
Certain tests that I've taken in the past are theoritical questions or questions that are asking for an oppinion and if you dont check the write answer for the question you miss the question. .... Alot of tests are just retarded, but alot of them are also essencial.

I seriously hate exams and finals

Tue, August 5th, 2008 9:14pm



I can definitely relate to stressing out on an exam. Although there are several ideas people have used to lessen the anxiety such as, squeezing the daylights out of a rubber ball, taking deep breaths, walk a mile before the test--none have helped me!! Nonetheless, it is important to determine if students are grasping the concept of the lecture material so, I think the best type of exam is an essay. This is more than likely because I am a writer and essays are easy for me. Still yet, I think students will be able to convey to professors and teachers what they have learned in an essay. I have always thought of Multiple Choice as Multiple Guess--if 2 of the answers are right then the option to choose would be all of the above; True False has always baffled me and I think it is because I read things backward--so, true/false is a negative; Fill in the blank...hmmm not so bad, matching???---a student's worse nightmare! Those are my thoughts--your writing is fulfilling, keep up the good work.

Sun, August 10th, 2008 11:06pm


Hey Gabriel:

Since you are an English professor, would you read my Literary Analysis on "MacBeth"?

Tue, August 12th, 2008 4:42pm


Interesting take on exams. As a student, I had always seen the plain and obvious downside to exams -- they were frustrating!!! However, seeing the negative side of it from a teacher's perspective was certainly enlightening. This article particularly caught my interest because as the Jr. Editor of my high school's newspaper, these are the kind of ideas that I look for. Very interesting; keep on writing!!!

Thu, August 14th, 2008 2:48pm



Sat, August 16th, 2008 8:01pm


I've just gone through my AS exams and did not get the results I was hoping for. I entirely agree that exams put a lot of unnecessary pressure on students in what should be the most carefree years of their lives. The stupidest thing is that when we've done our full A levels, the AS ones won't even matter. When I got my results, I actually cried, but I'm hoping that I can retake and salvage the wreckage.
Another thing I believe is that the format of the exams is sometimes innapropriate (and this is just personal). I know that for spelling and things like that, a written exam is necessary, but in philosophy and ethics (my disappointing grade) I am certain I would have fared better had it been an oral exam.

Anyway, that's my little rant out of the way. I like the article, and hope you could do me the service of reading some of my work when you have the time. :)

Mon, August 25th, 2008 6:33pm

Nancy Drew

Finding a balance would be awesome, but as so much of our academic system is tied to/dependent on not only examination, but standardized testing, I don't think a balance is on the horizon.

As someone who just graduated from college I will say that I always felt that exams weren't so much a measurement of my knowledge over the material as they were a test of my ability to take the exam itself. Each professor had such a distinct style of testing, you had to learn that style almost more than the material - which in my opinion is counter productive.

Tue, September 23rd, 2008 5:15pm


I agree with you =) thanks for your comment and adding your opinion.

Tue, September 23rd, 2008 10:35am

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