IELTS Essay: Grades and Testing
Many believe that schools should test and grade students, while others feel these stressful evaluations can be counter-productive. In my opinion, although testing can be useful, schools could be improved if there were no grades and students could learn with less pressure.
On the one hand, standardized testing allows students to measure their progress. Students and teachers are both able to utilize grades to understand if a student is excelling or struggling in any given subject. For example, in most high schools, students take a test before being placed into a mathematics course. If they excel at math, they will be placed in an advanced class and if their math skills are weaker, they will receive the support they need at a lower level. Over time and through repeated testing, students can move up or down levels and receive relevant practice and individualized learning. This is the basis of most educational systems and facilitates the practical organization of levels.
On the other hand, schools with reduced focus on grades encourage healthier growth. This approach is common in certain progressive European nations like Finland and Norway, which are famous for their de-emphasis on grades. Schools in Finland attempt to foster a positive learning environment where students feel free to make mistakes, play, and develop a lifelong passion for learning. With less anxiety and less of a burden to excel, students can focus on what they care about most and not become overly obsessed with gaining the esteem of their teachers and parents. The result is that Finland has consistently ranked as one of the strongest school systems internationally.
In conclusion, although grades are important for categorization, their elimination would allow students to learn better and flourish. Where possible, schools should seek to focus more on learning and less on testing.