Better to have two exams a year

Having only one main exam in a year increases the weight placed on it and the emphasis on grades, says the writer.
Having only one main exam in a year increases the weight placed on it and the emphasis on grades, says the writer.PHOTO: ST FILE

Last year, the Ministry of Education announced several changes to encourage schools, teachers, students and parents to move away from focusing too much on examinations and grades (Changes to school assessment: What you need to know, Sept 28, 2018).

One of the changes was that the mid-year exam will be scraped for certain levels. However, schools can still conduct weighted assessments such as class tests, projects and presentations at suitable junctures in the academic year.

This new system may not only make students more stressed, but may also rush teaching even more as there may be more minor tests at shorter durations throughout the year.

Also, with only one main exam in the year, there is more weightage placed on it.

This actually increases the emphasis on grades, rather than achieve the goal of reducing the emphasis on it.

Instead, what will be better is to revert to the mid-year and year-end exam system, which will give students more time to grasp concepts.

Joshua Chai, 15

Secondary 3 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'Better to have two exams a year'. Print Edition | Subscribe