Too much emphasis is placed on testing these days. The need to prepare for tests and examinations is a restriction on teachers and also exerts unnecessary pressure on young learners. To what extent do you agree or disagree? In many schools and academic institutions throughout the world today there has been a shift from formal examinations and tests to assessment based on home assignments and tutorial or class presentations. This change has been welcomed by many educationalists who view formal exams and testing as an unreliable and inadequate means of evaluating a student's achievements. On the other hand, supporters of regular formal testing lament the lack of rigour and 'dumbing down' heralded by these changes and claim that important mental skills, exercised under exam conditions, have been devalued. One valid argument against regular and excessive testing is that it distracts teachers from his or her primary task; teaching. Nowadays, teachers are being held more and more accountable for the academic fortunes of their students and this often results in a preoccupation with strategies for passing exams rather than with learning itself. A recent survey on learning second languages in Greece found that the poor performance of students studying English for the Cambridge examinations was attributable in part to the disproportionate amount of time spent on practice with past papers rather than the expansion of the students' knowledge and use of the language. On the other hand, proponents of regular, formal testing maintain that the need for regular monitoring of a student's progress justifies frequent testing since this enables teachers to provide continual feedback to their students. The argument that a heavy emphasis on testing places unnecessary pressure on young students is rather flimsy. Rather that abolish or scale down testing teachers can assist students how to minimise stress and encourage them to take formal assessment in their stride. In conclusion, while examinations and tests should never become an end in themselves or a substitute for genuine teaching and learning, they do demand mental skills which play an important part in a student's intellectual development and provide teachers with valuable data on the progress of their students. For these reasons, their retention as part of a balanced mix of assessment procedures is justified. In many academic institutions throughout the world there has been a shift from formal examinations and tests to assessment based on home assignments and tutorial presentations. The rationale for this change is based on the view that learning is best served when young students are at liberty to take more control over their learning rather than regularly regurgitating a body of knowledge dictated and imparted by their teachers. Educationalists that discredit formal testing as a viable means of assessing young students' may be well-intentioned but they are mistaken. One of the arguments for abolishing or reducing formal testing according to the anti-testing fraternity is the undue pressure placed on young students whose performance may well fall below that of which they are capable under the strain of exam conditions. This mollycoddling approach is flawed for a number of reasons. Firstly, students are required to demonstrate important intellectual skills in an exam situation which may not be called upon in a more relaxed assessment task. The ability to marshal ideas under pressure, to write fluently within time restrictions and to recall information and data are just some of the mental skills transferable to real life situations after students graduate. Formal testing has the additional benefit of generating a spirit of healthy competition. Most young people relish the opportunity to measure their achievements against those of their peers and the prospect of a formal exam can often spur students on to greater effort and commitment. Moreover, formal testing conducted under examination conditions offers some safeguards against plagiarism which has become a serious problem for teachers trying to assess their students. Lazy and dishonest students who present with impunity essays and assignments lifted from the internet as original work find this fraud impossible in a formal exam. In conclusion, formal examinations and tests should be reinstated as the primary means of evaluating students' work. They are the fairest and most objective form of assessment; they engender a healthy competitive spirit and offer students the opportunity to demonstrate important mental skills.