Articles on Exams

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Knowing what the state curriculum authority expects of you is important. Shutterstuck

Know the curriculum and research your career: preparing for Year 12

This week thousands of students across Australia begin their final year of schooling. The certificate they receive will vary from state to state, and their post-secondary plans may be university, an apprenticeship…
Many have argued that exams are pointless, especially in higher education where deep learning is the aim. But they still have their uses. ZELIG SCHOOL

Exams might be stressful, but they improve learning

In recent weeks, students across high school and university classrooms have been breathing sighs of relief. Exams are officially over, and celebrations have begun. For many students, exams seem a necessary…
Getting a low ATAR, or not getting the ATAR you need for the university course you want, can seem like the end of the world. But it’s not. Shutterstock

So you didn’t get a great ATAR – it’s not the end of the world

The release of this year’s Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) will result in mixed feelings among school-leavers. There are those who will be elated at having achieved a score that places them in…
Tutors may be a good thing for improving test scores, but may be a bad thing if the student becomes overly reliant on the tutor. Shutterstock

Hiring a tutor may have short-term gains but long-term losses

Significant numbers of secondary school students receive additional assistance from private tutors. This requires a measure of time, commitment and sometimes a substantial financial investment. So does…
Testing times for future students. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Students deserve better than this shambolic A Level reform

The teachers of tomorrow should be eager to prepare for “your future, their future”, according to the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s new teacher-training recruitment campaign. Sadly they…
High intake of take-away foods, red and processed meat, soft drinks, and fried and refined food is a risk factor for poor academic performance. Jay Peg/Flickr

Brain food: diet’s impacts on students are too big to ignore

As their children submit themselves to the ordeal of all-important end-of-year exams, parents of high school and university students may be wondering what they can do to help. One thing they ought to consider…
What if want a chance to get an A*? David Davies/PA Archive

Tiered GCSE papers that cap ambition should be abolished

Children’s access to high grades at GCSE is determined by our examination system, which assigns grade limits in some subjects. Known as tiering, this means that some 16-year-olds sit a foundation GCSE…
Let’s wait a year before we do this. David Jones/PA Archive

Shift from sitting GCSEs a year early wins guarded support

The number of students entered for a GCSE exam a year early plummeted by 40% this summer. Before 2014, the number of students taking their exams in Year 10 rather than Year 11, particularly in English…

We try to fix too many social problems through exams

This year’s GCSE results day is predicted to be “chaos” if recent exam reforms cause large fluctuations in students’ grades. Exam boards, teachers and teacher unions are talking of “nervousness”, “turbulence…
What did you get? Niall Carson/PA Wire

Permanent revolution of A Level exams helps nobody

A Level results are in and as teenagers pore over their grades, a record number will be able to take up places at university. The results – which show a small decline in the overall pass rate for the first…
Etonians are waiting in line for their place at Oxbridge. David Parker/PA Archive

Gap between state and private school admissions to top unis due to grades, not bias

The UK’s most prestigious universities are repeatedly accused of discriminating against disadvantaged students in favour of those who are deemed to have a social advantage, and particularly those from…

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