TOPIC 4: Children have more and more tests and exams to do at school, sometimes starting from the age of five or six, right up until the age of 18. What are the advantages and disadvantages of making children do exams?

Nowadays, children are taking part in examinations and doing tests more frequently. In some countries, most children start sitting in an exam at the age of five or six. While this could be beneficial, it also has its drawbacks. Personally, I agree with testing children up to a point but there should be some limits.

I will start by looking at the advanatages of assessing children at such a young age. One major plus point is that by using the result of the tests, teachers, as well as parents, can provide children with necessary assistance. Instead of being left alone to struggle with problems, students can have the chance to receive the urgently needed support from the adults. Thanks to the supervision of teachers, they can keep up with their peers.

Another advantage of giving tests to children is that they can become more motivated. By setting a target for students along with promising a reward for the one with the highest score, children will be encouraged to bring out their best. Furthermore, a little and rather harmless competitiveness among friends will prepare them for difficult challenges they might face later in life.

On the other hand, the pressure from the adults could be a major disadvantage. In some cases, the parents might be too obsessed with children’s grades and force them to learn in order to achieve a high result. Consequently, studying as well as exams could turn into a burden that negatively affects the mental and physical health of a child.

Another main drawback is that the confidence of a child could be influenced by the poor result. If their tests received poor marks and discouraging comments, students generally feel ashamed and insecure about their ability. While the tests could be a common way to judge one’s capacity, this does not apply for all subjects, such as arts and music.

To sum up, testing children from a young age is still a controversial topic. In spite of the fact that it could supply a rather accurate assessment of a child’s ability it also put too much pressure on them. In my opinion, the examination is a mandatory part of education but we should reconsider the appropriate age at which children start doing exams.

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