Are exams always problematic in education ?

The history of education suggests that once exam results are being used to make important life decisions, the exam system will exert significant pressure on how education works and how it impacts on students.

The civil service entrance and promotion exam system in China two millenia ago was already a very refined exam system and historic accounts of its operation – as in ‘China’s Examination Hell’ – detail profound effects on students, families, and communities.

So the challenges posed by exams are both international and somewhat timeless, in spite of on-going attention to reform how exams work and their role in the education system.