5 reasons why high school entrance exams are awful | Brian Tu – Grade 10

high school exams are a waste
  • Pressure and stress the final year of junior high is incredibly high
  • Exams don’t really teach students how to think outside of the box
  • Late nights spent studying aren’t healthy for a growing teenager

Being a student in Taiwan is already horrible, but the final year of junior high school is basically purgatory. And it is all due to the infamous High School Entrance Exam. Some people say that it is the fairest way to determine which high school students should attend, but it causes much more harm than good.

1. High school entrance exams are stressful

This is the most undeniable flaw and the reason why most students fear the third year of junior high; the pressure and stress of the final year of junior high is incredibly high and heavy. To prepare for just this one final test, students have to go through hundreds, if not thousands of tests and exams. Also the amount of homework needed to be done could be piled up into a mountain. Teachers and parents berate students and children as a form of coercion and to make kids study as hard as possible. These are all things a young 15-year-old shouldn’t have to go through.

2. They create robotic students

Even though the exam does help students review what they have learned over the past three years, it doesn’t really teach students how to think outside of the box. Instead of helping students learn how to think and solve problems by themselves, all it really does is make students remember tons of information and knowledge that they may not even use in the future. This process creates students that have pure knowledge but have no idea how to implement this information in their lives.

3. One exam can determine a person’s life and career

The high schools in Taiwan can greatly affect a person’s career, so the exam that decides which high school you go to can effectively have a huge impact on your life. Making a single tiny mistake can change everything. Plenty of students have paid a heavy price just for making the tiniest of mistakes, which isn’t fair.

4. Students spend too much time studying for just one exam

To prepare for the test most students start studying like a madman one year beforehand; during that time students minimize all other extra-curricular activities to focus solely on preparing for that one exam. Large amounts of students study late, even until midnight, and sometimes even past that, which isn’t healthy for a growing teenager. Also, the lack of entertainment for an entire year takes a huge toll on students and many of them get depressed – some even lose faith in themselves.

5. Entrance exams kill imagination

To do well on the exam, students spend an entire year cramming all the information they can, but in doing so they are trading their imagination for miscellaneous information. In a time when creativity and imagination is a requirement for tons of jobs, this system is not a good deal. Furthermore, the overload of information that students have to take in every day causes students to actually think less day by day.

Sure, having everyone take the same exam is the fairest way there is to determine which high school people go to, but it is not the best way to educate children. So if we want to have a better economy, we better start educating people who can think and solve problems. What better way is there to do this than canceling the high school entrance exam and changing our testing culture?

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Taipei Teen Tribune is a free-to-read online news and interest blog written by some especially talented teenagers from Taiwan. We like to talk about life as students, important issues that affect people in Taiwan including politics, daily life, and even more fun issues like restaurant and movie reviews. Our site is great for teens and adults alike, anyone wanting to practice English, and for locals interested in fresh perspectives. Like our page on Facebook, sign up for our newsletter or visit our blog for our latest write-ups on what's happening in Taiwan.

2 Comments on 5 reasons why high school entrance exams are awful | Brian Tu – Grade 10

  1. Hi Brian, is English your first language or are you just very good at it, OR has this post been translated? I really like your post. I think the testing culture is a problem all over the world, including here in England. With my blog I am trying to investigate what makes for good global culture. Constant testing and exams are not part of a healthy global culture. We must all start to think as one planet, to work together in creativity and economy. Tests are a barrier to this.

  2. Hi Brian, great post. Unfortunately it is the same here in England.

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