Testing much? The pros and cons of exams in education

Singapore has recently decided to reduce the number of examinations that students need to sit. Announcing the changes, the Singaporean education minister, Ong Ye Kung, identified four trade-offs in any educational system: between hard work and student enjoyment; between useful academic differentiation and an over competitive culture; between customisation to cater for a range of abilities and stigmatisation of the less academically able; and between skills and paper qualifications.

Exams still have plenty of positives, though. They’re a quantifiable way of tracking progress that can help to identify strengths and areas for potential improvement, they can drive learning by concentrating minds, making students focus on all subjects rather than just their favourites, and they’re objective and difficult to cheat on.

What do you think? Does HK have too many exams?

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