Posted by: Peter Scott | May 24, 2006

Examination rant

You may have seen that one of the English school examination boards has managed to foul up their process. Basically they forgot to include a resource booklet with the first humanities exam paper for 16 year olds (and for my 15 year-old who took the paper a year early and hence my ire). Although the booklet only contained supporting facts, tables and charts it would aid the formulation of comprehensive answers to the exam question. The books had already been issued to students earlier in the year for their course studies, but new copies were to be issued in the exam (just in case students tried to write notes on their personal copies, or in other words, cheat). The problem was not that the questions could not be answered without the source books, but that the students had an expectation that a raft of material did not need to be committed to memory before the exam as it would be available to refer to in the exam.

Perhaps we should live in Scotland, they seem more organised up there!



  1. Don’t worry. They’ll just alter the pass rate to take into account the mistake.

    I used to work for an education establishment, where some of the senior staff were government advisors for education. One ran the governments literacy and numerousy campaign some years back. I questioned them about the “dumbing down of exams” issue and they told me that every year the education minister tells them the percentage of people they would like to pass, and they move the line to accomadate it. This was direct information from a government advisor to me, not some urban myth.

    Every already knows this, but nobody is allowed to openly admit it!



  2. Tim wrote: “and they move the line to accomadate it…”

    … Tim, I hope you are not marking any exams.

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