Moving to a Non-linear exams system
Posted on 13-01-21 by Adam Patel
Number of votes: 1 | Number of comments: 1
Coronavirus has exposed the inequality of our current secondary education system, as well as its inability to equip students effectively for a life after school. As a Year 11 student myself, I have seen the academic year above me, and my own, have exams cancelled. I have seen my grades, and my future, endangered. I have experienced the stress that exams bring, and the stress that having no exams also brings. My sister, in Year 13, has experienced the same. This is true for many students across the country — not just now, not just in a time of crisis, but whenever they are faced with exams.
Standardised tests alone are not effective at measuring aptitude within a subject. For example, a student’s practical knowledge in GCSE Science is still measured using questions in an exam paper, not a practical assessment. Some students may be more practically talented. Our exam system must not exclude those more practically inclined. A new system of non-linear examination would allow for testing of what students know, not what an exam board wants us to know.
While some form of standardised testing must remain at the end of a course, a more holistic approach to grading should be taken. In light of the uncertainty of this crisis, we have an opportunity to revolutionise our education system.
This can be done by reintroducing coursework. Currently, most secondary school students across the country complete homework, every evening. Most of us have wondered, at least once, what the purpose of this homework is. Introducing coursework means that learning done at home can be graded, ending the notion of homework supposedly being futile. Coursework also allows for students’ grades not to suffer if they happen to have one bad day during their final exams, as instead their grades will be based on performance in coursework along with final exams. This would give a more accurate reflection of a student’s ability.
Thank you for reading :)
The Early Years, Education and Skills Policy Commission looks at issues relating to children’s wellbeing, development and care, as well as education training and skills from childhood through adulthood.