Exams have been the UK's favoured method of testing for some time now. They became an established way of measuring boys' abilities and understandings of school subjects in the 19th century and just over 10 years later girls were also given the opportunity to take school exams monitored by Cambridge and Oxford. With society ever changing and evolving it begs the question: are exams outdated? 

Different schools and different teachers assess students in their own unique ways throughout the year but eventually, each student in the UK will take a number of public exams to determine just how much progress has been made in a particular subject. Some students don't worry about 'meaningful' or public testing, and this could be for a medley of reasons. These students may find exams a walk in the park. However, others can find themselves stressed or anxious during times which, for them, are much more challenging. Large amounts of a student's experience with exams will depend on personal expectations, pressure or possibly further education options.

Expectations and other reasons are also be a great factor in determining the pressure a student faces before being tested. And this pressure comes in many forms. This could be overthinking, over-revising, procrastinating or for some: last minute cramming. Last minute cramming can works wonders - but not for long. It feeds the short term memory and helps people (more confidently) deal with the upcoming challenge. Though, if cramming only helps the student for the exam temporarily then surely it doesn't comply with the reasoning behind testing in the first place (to convey a true understanding)?

However, internally assessed grades are an alternate way of avoiding the overwhelming pressure caused for students during exam season. This method could encourage students to pace themselves throughout the year and to be even more present when learning. It could also pique interests by motivating students to join subject related clubs so they can feel more prepared and engaged when it comes to lessons. It is no doubt that changing to internally assessed grades would require new levels of responsibility from pupils.

But could these internally assessed grades be counter-productive? Since there is no solid plan for the UK to follow, it is unknown if the burden that students face would actually be reduced. In fact - internal assessments' negatives might outweigh the positives. It could indeed be that students would feel that there was also more expectation to remain at their best throughout the whole year, which has possibility of leading to burnout and extreme mental fatigue.

For the moment, the government would have to come up with a robust, reliable alternative to the current exams for there to even be a consideration to changing the current method of testing. It would have to benefit all pupils throughout the country equally and to be free of loop holes. It's already seeming like a rather big job. Currently the fairest option is the method of testing which has been used for many years. Though the idea of exams being outdated has come into question, something certain is that the switch to continuous or internally assessed grades won't be seen in the near future under usual circumstances.