The problem with the new exam system

Actually, this article won't be able to address all the problems that the system coming in to replace GCSE will encounter.  We should really be looking at our education system as a whole and introducing much bigger reforms including abolishing formal exams at 16.  However, as the government has pushed ahead with simply replacing GCSE with a harder option, it is worth taking a look at what the new system will be like.

One of the biggest faults of our current education system is the over-reliance on exams.  At GCSE, two years of work is, for the most part, assessed in a matter of hours in a one-size-fits-all exam.  Some subjects do have coursework, but the majority of your grade comes from the one (or two) exams.  For some, this works.  For others, it certainly does not and their ability as a student and their ability to learn cannot be assessed in this way.  The current exam system also allows for human error when marking.  Of course this is very rare - but, particularly in essay-based subjects such as History and English - whether you get the extra mark to push your overall grade up to an A, or stay on a B is down to the personal interpretation of the examiner.  With the new system, this problem is being made worse.

With the new grading system, students will be given a grade from 1 - 9, with 9 the highest.  Grade 5 will be considered a 'low B', which leaves 6, 7, 8 and 9 to cover a 'high B', A and A*.  What is happening, is that the grade boundaries are getting closer together.  Where you may have got an A, you could now either get a 6, 7 or 8 - presumably.  This is not at all logical - it will, in fact, be harder to assess how students have performed overall and it will rely more on this specific exam.  As well as this, there is more room for human error when marking and more down to the examiner.

It is certainly the case that we need reform to our education system - but this change will make it worse, not better.

By: Toby Gould
The problem with the new exam system The problem with the new exam system Reviewed by Admin on 10:52 Rating: 5

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