Exams. GCSEs. A-levels. A right of passage for students, having to face exams at a young age is daunting and stressful but most see as necessary. Focusing on GCSEs, taken at the end of year 11 in an average of 10 subjects, they take two years to learn and complete but the build up has gone on since primary. Once they’re over and results are received the stress seems completely unworth it and they’re forgotten about within the next year. 

 

This makes us question? Are the qualifications worth it, besides securing a place into the next stage of education or the first couple of jobs they are obsolete. 

 

On one side, the exams are a way to cap off leaving school and for higher education to see how students are doing and if they fit the standards of the school. They mean that school builds up to something and give a purpose to analysing texts upon texts. 

 

However, the exams put unnecessary stress on everyone; pressure on teachers marking extra work and the exams themselves, reliance on parents with all the breakdowns students will have and, of course, the stress that causes a mental illness epidemic in this country amongst young people. 

 

How can exams be justifiable when the stress is too much with too many consequences? All of the adults I speak to can’t remember when they needed their qualifications in job applications, some even laugh about failing their exams and still carrying on with successful careers. 

 

I don’t think the answer is to scrap exams completely but we most certainly have to take the pressure off of exams to make sure student mental health is a priority.