In our modern world, students are bombarded by the pressure put on them to succeed in exams such as GCSEs and A-Levels; ever since children start Year 6, they are drilled into exam preparation, practice papers and formal testing. This has sparked a dramatically increased amount of students suffering with mental health.


Since the national lockdown in March last year, the education system as we know it has crumbled before our eyes. In 2020, students, for the first time in a generation, were marked on coursework and their teacher’s assessment of their work, instead of a GCSE or A-level exam.


The start of 2021 has understandably brought an uprising in children and parents, criticising the way the Government has handled education throughout the pandemic. Pupils of different skills, learning abilities and strengths have been expected to fit into a certain category, where they must all do the same thing, despite their differences.


Most people relate this system to expecting all different types of animals - such as lions, whales and insects - to climb a tree, no matter how dissimilar they are. This is unacceptable in the twenty-first century, as this is the time where exclusivity is celebrated and welcomed, instead of pushed aside and ignored.


Albert Einstein once said:  “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 


The education system has not altered its way of thinking since the 1900s, whilst the rest of the world has improved and bettered itself; it is time to make a change for the sake of Gen Z’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.


Petitions across the country have begun to come together and many have passed the compulsory 100,000 signatures: one of them with 157,097 people supporting the need to scrap unnecessary exams once and for all. This means that the Government will be forced into action; the old fashioned education system has come to an end and it is time to welcome a modern way of learning that is beneficial to all pupils.


The debate as to whether abandoning exams altogether would help or hinder a student is fraught. By replacing tests with smaller amounts of course work and teacher assessment, students would have a fair chance at achieving their target grades and it would relieve stress for teachers and pupils.


If this was to be the new way children were judged later on in life, employers would see a grade that would demonstrate the authenticity of their cleverness; in addition, the use of course work would regulate how much knowledge a student has gained about a certain subject 


In addition to this, the long, sleepless nights of cramming information only to regurgitate it the next morning is not beneficial in life. Indeed, many adults say that learning how to write an essay in an hour or know how to factorise equations is not valuable, but if they were to learn how to accumulate a good portion of work at an advanced level, and show their skill at hard work, they would get a lot further in life.


 A single paper cannot define a person's life, it is how they socialise, their work ethic and intelligence and passion that should be judged. Memorizing facts alone will not allow young adults to gain anything more than a short term attention span, but practicing how to be diligent, plan and map out workloads, manage deadlines and prepare real life presentations will stand Gen Z in good stead in the long run.