Archive for August, 2010

Exam system in disarray

The Guardian covers the idea that the exam system is in disarray with a focus on the fact that standardised testing is removing soft skills from students and even A* are being let down on the creative side. A far more pressing concern is the quality of marking in subjects like History and Politics where, despite the in depth nature of the indicative content provided, glaring errors are still made on an annual basis. The reality is that many of these are in favour of the candidate, I have several students this year whose A grades are highly unrealistic and contradict my 2+ years of experience with them. These, of course are never questioned as they show the school, department and teacher in a good light. However for the second year in a row I have an outstanding student reduced to a B in Govt and Politics owing to the incompetence of a marker and subsequent intransigence of the board. Last year it didn’t cost, this year my student awaits a priority remark decision on a place to read PPE at Oxford. I don’t have any perfect answers to this question  but I suspect many examiners wouldn’t recognise one if I did.


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