In Many Countries Formal Exams Are Used To Assess Students’ Ability And To Judge The Success Of Their Education

In many countries formal exams are used to assess students’ ability and to judge the success of their education.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using formal exams to assess students’ abilities? Do you think the benefits of using formal exams overweigh the drawbacks?

Here is a band 8 IELTS essay on this topic written by one of our students. Need help with IELTS writing? Get your IELTS essays, letters and reports corrected by me.

Band 8 IELTS essay sample

In order to evaluate the students’ abilities and to assess their academic achievement, the formal exams are conducted in numerous nations. While formal exams boost a student’s confidence levels and ignites the competitive spirit in them, it only tests bookish knowledge and is a source of immense anxiety for many students.

There are a number of advantages to formal exams. Firstly, they boost the confidence levels of the students by enabling them to face stressful situations. A written exam is a source of anxiety for most students. Constant exposure to such exams, prepare students to face such situations. Also, the fact there is a written exam at the end of the term encourages students to study systematically. If there is no exam, many students will simply not study. So, the written exam gives students an opportunity to know their level and also shows them new areas for improvement. Secondly, formal examinations arouse competition among the students. Since the whole class gives the formal exams, everyone tries to get ahead of one another. These things further help in adulthood while they enter the work force.

However, in my opinion, in spite of the aforementioned pros, the cons of formal exams are significantly more. The main disadvantage is that these exams test a student’s performance on the day of exam. A lot of factors can affect it. Also, written exams encourage cramming. Students learn the answers by heart with the sole objective of scoring well in the exams. Hence, even if a student scores well in the exam, their understanding of the concept may be limited. Moreover, these exams are a source of immense anxiety for students. In fact, this anxiety itself can hurt their performance in exams. Worse still, sometimes the evaluation can be biased. Since it is not possible for the same teacher to evaluate all the answer sheets, there is no uniformity in the evaluation process.

To conclude, formal exams have their merits and demerits. They prepare the students to work hard and face competition. However, they are also stressful and biased evaluation makes them less effective. Hence, I do not believe that their merits outweigh the demerits.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.