Why Exams are so Hard

The main problem that students stare straight in the face when writing exams is threefold; a lack of preparation, a lack of confidence, and a lack of understanding. Exams need not be the bane of all adolescence, but they are interpreted as such. Exams are merely a method of figuring out what a student has gleaned during the semester.

Exam conditions vary in many regards; sometimes they are held in crowded gymnasiums, the time allotted is daunting, expectations are not met, and teachers are no longer omnipresent.

A distinct lack of preparation is a major concern in the school system today. Not only are teachers perhaps falling victim to governmental policy, they are failing students by poorly preparing them for the real world. Leaving no child behind actually accomplishes the opposite- it leaves them all behind. Students cannot achieve well on exams if they do not know how to take them.

A good teacher prepares their students over the course of the entire semester, helping them reach previously unattainable goals. Once an exam begins, the teacher falls back in line and allows the student to sink or swim. This is contrary to the rest of the educational philosophy. Students are not mollycoddled during an exam, which throws their level of comfort and anxiety out of whack.

The lack of preparation also stems from disconnect of sorts at home. Parents should ensure that their children are spending time each and every night reviewing their schoolwork. The more that they are familiar with the course content, the better served they will be once exam time arrives.  

A lack of confidence stems from a lack of success felt during the school year. Every student should be made to feel as though they have mastered each and every skill throughout the entire year. The more confidence that a student has, the more likely they are to achieve a competent level of success. Exams are just longer quizzes. The word exam conjures up fear, but reality dictates that exams are just questions and answers, no different than a pop quiz or small test.

A lack of understanding is extremely detrimental to students. When the school system fails them, either via poor instruction or through poor instructional time, the student is the only one that suffers. Teachers are taxed with the onerous duty of ensuring that children are well taught. They need support from home and from the school board. Teachers are the parents of your children while you are at work. Trust in them wholeheartedly, they deserve a level of respect seldom felt.

Many students do not know how to study for exams since they are unaware of what type of learner they are in the school setting. A student that learns better from a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic fashion needs to know how to study for exams in a manner that will behoove them.

Students need to comprehend that exams are of the utmost importance for their future. Most schooling allows students to feel as though deadlines are arbitrary and that accountability does not exist. Exams teach students that there are consequences.

The final concern students have with exams is a fundamental lack of knowledge in regards to expectations. If a child does not know what the question means or how many marks it is worth in relation to the entire exam, they may be hung out to dry in an unfair manner. Exams can be a very stressful time for students, and they need to know how to cope with their personal difficulties prior to writing exams. High school will not wait for them so they need to prepare adequately before the time arises when exams rear their ugly heads.

Most students seem wary of asking questions in class, for fear that they may seem unintelligent. The dumbest questions are those that are never asked. Students need to be more proactive in their quest for knowledge. Schools are flawed in that the squeaky wheel always gets the oil and the attention. Those that do not want the education or the structure are the ones that receive the most attention, while those that need or deserve the help are often left to their own devices.

Exams occur twice a year while in high school, so it is best that students do whatever necessary to ensure that they are successful.