Exam formats need rehauling

It is time we reconsider the relevance of examinations.

Currently, exams prepare students to regurgitate answers from memory and respond in a way purely for scoring marks.

More attention should instead be placed on composing convincing argumentative essays and scripting speeches for a given topic. In addition, rather than have examinations follow a fixed format, why not introduce some flexibility? Will students be able to respond to something they did not anticipate? Adaptability is an essential skill to equip the youth with.

We must not train students to blindly memorise information without digesting it. Students should be encouraged to ask questions during lessons and not just accept everything as taught.

Only after careful evaluation of the current system can we ensure that pen-and-paper assessments will help spark the joy of learning, rather than force students to study for the sake of studying.

Yang Yizhen, 16,

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2018, with the headline 'Exam formats need rehauling'. Print Edition | Subscribe