Arguments for the view:
Examinations have turned out to be the most dreaded part of our education system. They are the most stressful activity in the process of education for a student. Examination-related stress has attained the status of the growing epidemic. It commonly leads to ‘examination fever’ and anxiety attacks.
Examinations often are not a test of the application of acquired knowledge. They only test retained information and thus encourage mindless cramming. This had led to an inappropriate trend of ‘last week study’ rather than year-round learning. Examinations are now viewed as a game of chance, where consistent students often fail to make the mark and crammers come out with flying colours.
The evaluation process is plagued with many drawbacks. Accuracy and impartiality often get compromised in the process of manual evaluation. Uniform standards of marking have still not been achieved. It is not completely justified to decide the worth of a student on the basis of a few questions asked and marks obtained.
Arguments against the view
Exams are an age-old practice of evaluating students’ performance. They aid the classification of the syllabus according to various standards and levels.
The most elementary function of exams is to test the acquired learning of the students. Exams are uniform forms of evaluation. They test the average level of proficiency and provide a chance to the students to prove their merit.
Exams test the eligibility of the students for the next level of study. They help in deciding the comparative merit of students and their level of proficiency in the subject. They teach the students how to cope with pressure and perform during tense situations. They offer valuable lessons to students for life, like hard work, dedication and focus.
The problems with the exams are due to the attitude of the parents and teachers along with the fallacies of the system itself. Exams are a necessary evil. The system of exams needs to be improved but cannot be totally done away with.