2018-10-11 11:56:10 来源：网络专四专八资料下载
We might marvel(奇迹，对……感到惊异，惊讶) at the progress made in every field of study, but the methods of testing a person’s knowledge and ability remain as primitive(原始的，远古的，简单的) as ever they were. It really is extraordinary that after all these years, educationists(教育家) have still failed to devise(设计，发明，想出) anything more efficient and reliable than examinations. For all the pious( 虔诚的)claim that examinations test what you know, it is common knowledge that they more often do the exact opposite.They may be a good means of testing memory, or the knack(诀窍，本领，熟练技术，巧妙手法) of working rapidly under extreme pressure, but they can tell nothing about a person’s true ability and aptitude(自然倾向，天资).
As anxiety-makers, examinations are second to none. That is because so much depends on them. They are the mark of success or failure in our society. Your whole future may be decided in one fateful(重大的，决定性的) day. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t feeling very well, or that your mother dies. Little things like that don’t count: the exam goes on. No one can give of his best when he is in mortal(人类的，凡人的，致死的) terror(恐怖行动，恐怖), or after sleepless night, yet this is precisely(精确的，恰恰) what the examination system expects him to do. The moment a child begins school, he enters a world of vicious(剧烈的，恶意的，堕落的) competition where success and failure are clearly defined and measured(测量，判断，有规则的). Can we wonder at the increasing number of ‘drop-outs’(逃避现实社会的人，中途退学的人): young people who are written off as utter(发出，表达，完全的，彻底的) failures before they have even embarked(着手，从事) on a career? Can we be surprised at the suicide rate among students?A good education should, among other things, train you to think for yourself. The examination system does anything but that. What has to be learnt
is rigidly(严格的，严厉的，坚硬的，牢牢地) laid down by a syllabus(教学大纲，课程表，摘要), so the student is encouraged to memories. Examinations do not motivate a student to read widely, but to restrict his reading; they do not enable him to seek more and more knowledge, but induce(诱导，引起) cramming(填鸭式的用功，补习). They lower the standards of teaching, for they deprive the teacher of all freedom. Teachers themselves are often judged by examination results and instead of teaching their subjects, they are reduced to training their students in exam techniques which they despise(轻视，鄙视). The most successful candidates are not always the best educated; they are the best trained in the technique of working under duress.(监禁，强迫)
The results on which so much depends are often nothing more than a subjective(主观的，个人的) assessment by some anonymous匿名的，无名的) examiner. Examiners are only human. They get tired and hungry; they make mistakes. Yet they have to mark stacks(堆叠，书库) of hastily(冲忙的，慌忙的，急速的) scrawled(乱涂，乱写) scripts(原稿，手稿) in a limited amount of time. They work under the same sort of pressure as the candidates. And their word carries weight. After a judge’s decision on you have the right of appeal, but not after an examiner’s. There must surely be many simpler and more effective ways of assessing a person’s true abilities. It is cynical(愤世嫉俗的，冷嘲的) to suggest that examinations are merely a profitable business for the institutions that run them? This is what it boils down to in the last analysis. The best comment on the system is this illiterate(不识字的，没受过教育的，文盲) message recently scrawled on a wall: ‘I were a teenage drop-out and now I are a teenage millionaire.’