Culture

More choices in topics to make exams fairer

todayOctober 27, 2021 2

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It is also one of the most daunting moments during a vital exam, when one has to choose the question or topic that they will spend a bulk of their time on. However, a change is now brewing.

Pupils taking GCSEs and A-levels in England next year will be given a choice of topics and be told the “focus” of exams in advance to “maximise fairness”. The intention is to “help students reach their potential” after learning was disrupted during COVID.

This is likely to be seen largely in subjects such as GCSE English literature, history, geography as well as English literature. The changes were settled upon after a consultation that saw responses from over 6000 people who believe that it would be good to have a larger range of topics to select from.

Amongst the responses close to 90% of students and parents were in favour of giving advance information and roughly 80% were in favour of offering more choices of topics.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said fairness was at the “heart of our approach”.

He continued: “The measures we’re putting in place will help reduce the impact of the significant disruption this group of young people have had to face – allowing them to move onto the next stage of their lives.”

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the plans will not “allay the anxiety or answer the questions” that many teachers have.

She added: “Only giving advanced information about the exams in time for revision will result in a ‘topic lottery’ where some students will have happened to have covered the topics on the exam in sufficient depth and others may well have not.”

It should also be noted that the A-level students this year receive more A and A* grades than ever before.

Written by: jaimmynanayakkara@yahoo.com

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