Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Results Day

Tomorrow is the day that the AS and A Level results are published in England. Students (and teachers) have a pretty awful time of it: if the percentage of pass grades is higher than previous years, then the media have a field day slamming the exams for being too easy; if, on the other hand, the percentage is lower, then teachers, schools and colleges are hammered for failing to provide a decent education...

...there is no doubt that exams have changed drastically - and I do think that the old GCE 'O' and 'A' levels were of a higher standard: there were far fewer structured questions, for example, and the increased number of essay-type questions meant that students had to organise their answers more carefully. However, the breadth of knowledge for each subject has increased drastically (sacrificing depth in many cases), there is far more emphasis on evaluating information rather than recall, and the sheer number of papers taken for each subject is such that today's students have to work incredibly hard, and probably harder than previously.

So spare a thought (and a prayer) for any students who are awaiting their results tomorrow (and the GCSEs next week.)

2 comments:

brother lesser said...

I can relate. I graduated "Cum Lousy."

Clare said...

Whatever the outcome, things will be easier for many A level students this year - last year there was an inundation of applications to get into college before the tuition fees went up (from £1000 to £3000 a year) and almost no one who missed a grade got into their first choice university. My daughter got ABB instead of AAB and had to make do with her second choice. Normally this would not have mattered, as her result was still good. It was a very tearful day for her. But with the tuition fees now at £3000 a year, and after the huge scramble last year, I would be surprised if there were not more unfilled places at university.

What a shambles!

I will be glad when the coursework content is reduced/ended - it's so open to abuse and cheating. Everyone knows the old O and A levels were more rigorous, but having had four children recently go through the system, I can tell you that the stress is, if anything, worse. Education should not just be about results but the pleasure and accomplishment of learning. Why do I sound like an old person? It's embarrassing.....

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