In 2018, the Ministry of Education announced that schools would start to do away with the mid-year examinations for Primary 3 and Primary 5 pupils as well as Secondary 1 and Secondary 3 students.
The move aimed to look beyond the heavy emphasis on academic results, allowing students to find enjoyment in studying.
And in 2019, it was reported that by last year, more than half of primary schools and more than 90 per cent of secondary schools would have removed mid-year examinations for some levels (Schools scrapping mid-year exams ahead of schedule, May 29, 2019).
This news initially brought much delight to students, as it was something that we thought would never happen.
However, the importance of the mid-year exams soon became more apparent.
The mid-year exams are a checkpoint at the halfway mark of the school year, an indication of how much students have understood and how well students have been coping with their studies.
It is also a simulation of what the full examination is like, preparing students for the year-end examination that reflects their performance over the year.
Most students study best, and study hardest, when preparing for an examination. The removal of the mid-year exams delays the inevitable stress in preparing for the end-of-year exams.
Ironically, scrapping the mid-year exams has brought more stress and anxiety over one’s performance.
Cheryl Ang, 15