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Are Exams Necessary to Teach Students?

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A student completes an end of year exam at Argyle High School in Argyle, Texas. (Gigi Robertson/ The Talon News)

A student completes an end of year exam at Argyle High School in Argyle, Texas. (Gigi Robertson/ The Talon News)

©The Talon News | Gigi Robertson

©The Talon News | Gigi Robertson

A student completes an end of year exam at Argyle High School in Argyle, Texas. (Gigi Robertson/ The Talon News)

Jaclyn Harris, Junior Writing Editor

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The necessity of final exams has been a hot topic among teachers and students alike ever since they were implemented as a part of the school system. While exams can be stressful for some students, they are a necessary evil in order to accurately assess the learning of each individual student. Without some kind of set medium for comparing students, teachers would be left with no reference to the average learning ability of a student.

Many of the highest ranked school systems in the world hold exams. Canada, which is ranked number one on the U.S. News Best Countries list for education, has a school system that is largely controlled by each province, but many of the schools in the country do have some kind of exam. Although the U.S. does have a stricter federal standard, its education system comes in at number seven on the list, proving the effectiveness of exams.

One of the most prominent arguments against exams is that they force students to prove their worth through a test when they have already shown their abilities through excelling in classes. In Argyle if a student has high enough grades and few enough absences, they are allowed to exempt exams and keep their already earned grade. This process is a great motivator to encourage students to come to school every day and work hard in class in order to achieve a welcome break at the end of the year. It rewards the students who work hard at their studies and punishes those who do not.

High school students relax in the auditorium during an exemption period.

While the exam system is currently the best option for schools, it does not come without flaws. Testing elementary and middle school students, who still haven’t learned how to properly study and deal with their stress, should not be done through the administration of final exams. Testing only older students and not younger students provides a medium between those arguing against finals and those arguing for them. 

Exams prepare students for college. If a current high school student decides to pursue a secondary education, they will have no choice but to adhere to their school’s standards and take whatever tests are thrown at them. While at first glance sheltering students from the reality of testing might seem like a good idea, the reality is that they will be facing these tests for their entire lives, and allowing them to prepare for the future during high school is the best decision.

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The student news site of Argyle High School
Are Exams Necessary to Teach Students?