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Blog Post #6

The Role of Exams in Education

by Henryk Flak, Head of Humanities and Cambridge Assessment International Education Coordinator


Many students get irritable, anxious and stressed when they hear about exams. Here at Repton we believe in the importance of exams. In fact, they play an important role in the process of learning and students’ development. Here are six reasons why exams are important:

1. Exams build confidence
Exams develop confidence which increases a student’s personality in a hard-working manner. Confidence comes from knowing
that you are perfect at what you do. During exam time, many students become stressed about their exam performance, and
they do hard work to try to give their best performance. When students achieve their target grades, it boosts their confidence
levels and makes them motivated to study hard.

2. Exams focus on breadth
In most disciplines, there are specific bodies of knowledge that students are expected to learn. Physics students might learn
about thermodynamics, while History students might learn about the Cold War. Exams enable us to accurately test students’
breadth of understanding of these topics.

3. Exams in-still discipline
Discipline is an essential feature for all successful people and examinations helps you become more disciplined. Those students
who genuinely pass their exams are always more disciplined and are prepared to enter the real world. Exams make one stronger
and prepare you to conquer all the challenges you will face in every aspect of life. The saying ‘if you can get through your A Level
Exams you can get through anything’ has a lot of truth to it.

4. Exams teach time management
Time management is a very important skill in life. To prepare for exams, one needs to learn how to manage their time efficiently
to study and while doing the exams too. Time management is an essential part of our daily lives and in the corporate world too,
so if you don’t know how to manage your time, you will fail to meet deadlines and not be able to fulfil your goals.

5. Exams improve learning
Exams improve learning and enable people to take on new information. It helps to widen people’s horizons and make them
outstanding. Moreover, exams have helped many to become better readers, learners and researchers.

6. Exams trigger brain exercise
Examinations make the brain search the memory database for appropriate knowledge, questions and answers. It makes students
think thoroughly which means a healthy exercise for the brain. Indeed, studying is like exercising. When you exercise, the muscles
in use grow stronger. Likewise, the process of searching through one’s memory and retrieving the relevant information strengthens
that memory pathway for future uses. This means that when newly qualified teachers, doctors, lawyers, or accountants come to
retrieve information they need, it is – as a consequence of having been practised previously – now easier to access.

In conclusion, exams serve as a comprehensive tool for fostering personal growth, intellectual development, and the acquisition of essential life skills, shaping students' confidence, discipline, and overall development. While they may bring up feelings of anxiety and stress among students, their significance in the educational journey cannot be overstated. At Repton, we firmly believe in the pivotal role exams play in equipping students for success in both academic and real-world challenges.