As I am writing this, it is about 5pm on a Thursday. I have spent the day sat at my dining table taking notes, watching lectures and snacking…. It must be exam season. Now I have to admit, I am one of those annoying people who actually enjoys exams and revising. However, I am starting to get a little bit agitated by the rigorous testing and pressure I am put under by the UK’s education system. I have spoken about this a little bit before, but I will without hesitation repeat myself by saying, I strongly believe that our education system does not serve everyone. This has to be a fatal flaw and disservice to many young people in our society.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Exams are a very popular way to test your understanding of whatever subject you are studying. But, as many people argue, it is often more of a memory test. When I was studying for my A Levels, I remember my Sociology teacher said that he hated the system and that he was under immense pressure to get all his students achieving certain grades. One particular thing he said that was drummed into my brain was: “You just need to think of it as a game. I will teach you how to play it, follow the rules and you will do well.”
But should education work like that? Many argue (young people especially) that our education system as it stands takes the fun and excitement out of learning and discovering new things. Therefore we sometimes associate learning new skills with negative feelings and assume it’ll either be too challenging or boring. To me this is extremely disheartening.
I must admit that even I am beginning to get tired of exams. Exam period has always been full of anxiety and stress for me and I know I am not alone in that respect. I have had exams every year of my life for almost 10 years. Can I recall all the information that I crammed for months in advance? Nope. Do I remember the immense pressure and worrying? Yes.
I believe that there needs to be a shift in attitudes in order for the education system in the UK to be improved. There should be more options for students of all talents and abilities. I know many young people that didn’t realise how many different courses and careers they could pursue. This is because they were brainwashed into believing A Levels and degrees or going straight into work were their only options. Students need to know that success comes in many forms and the way you get there is your own journey. Exams need to be reconsidered as the main form of assessment. We need to put the fun and creativity back into learning and gaining qualifications.
Besides, learning doesn’t and shouldn’t end in the classroom.