The Stress of Tests and the Danger Behind That Stress

The National Union of Teachers has stated that while regular testing is important to see how our pupils are learning, excessive testing and the importance we place on some of these tests could be having a negative effect on stress levels in young children.

Tests are a standardised way of finding out who is ‘doing well’ in education and who needs ‘a little extra help’. Unfortunately, there is no right formula for learning.

Some children who don’t work well in exam conditions are fully capable and coherent individuals, whereas others who excel in tests have difficulty solving problems on their own terms.

It is important that teachers and teaching assistants highlight the importance of tests – for nationwide purposes – as well as letting children know that it is not the be all and end all of their cognitive abilities.

It is great when test scores are high, but if the cost of high test scores is the increased stress levels and fear of failure from the children themselves, then we desperately need to re-think our educational strategy.


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