Get rid of exams?

One of the biggest arguments in school education is and always has been how to assess and award levels of learning. A formal (usually national) education system has multiple objectives and one of those is to benchmark children’s learning levels to a standard framework so others can understand. In other words, universities and employers mainly.

Most systems use some form of examination and in international schools this is no different. In Hong Kong we see mainly UK A-levels or the IB Diploma as the main examined benchmarks and of course local schools have the DSE. The Guardian reports on findings published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry showing teacher assessments are as good as exams in determining learning levels and abilities. Of course some frameworks do exist which are more assignment based such as BTEC. But we could move even further towards a system which might avoid the many pitfalls of exams. Then again we may miss out on the benefits of exams. Just goes to show how difficult it is to organize anything at a societal level.

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