What now for 2021 exams?

What now for 2021 exams?

By the time this issue is published, it may be that the Government have amended their present policy of the GCSE and A Level examinations of 2021 going ahead from June to early July.

All students due to sit the examinations missed 14 weeks of formal classroom tuition in the Spring/Summer of 2021 and a substantial number have since been quarantined at home.

This means that students have not been taught the specifications in the normal thorough manner that schools would normally have ensured, but this is also true of other countries throughout the world affecting 1.5 billion youngsters, so what of their experiences?

School leaver’s exams went ahead as normal, but they account for only a small percentage of the final grades.

Entering new reforms to their examination system based on 40% coursework.

Had an atrocious outbreak of Covid but its university entrance exam still went ahead, though it covered less of the curriculum than usual.

Stopped written tests for school leavers but allowed oral tests to proceed.

Austria and Hungary
Allowed written tests to proceed

Allowed their Advanced Placement examinations to proceed but shortened to 45 minutes and covered only material candidates were likely to have studied.

In the state of Victoria, the examinations are going ahead as usual despite the students having experienced long lockdowns.

In July 10 million students sat the school leavers exam as usual.

South Korea
Half a million students sat their matriculation exam (wearing face masks) having missed 5 weeks tuition.

Can we learn from the experiences of other countries?
This is the ultimate question. Obviously, we need to look at the detail of the experiences of other countries and this short article is to point out that we are not suffering educational problems on our own. Other countries are applying different methods.

Can the vaccine save us?
Sadly, regarding this year’s cohorts it is too late, GCSE and A Level candidates will have to go along with the Government’s recommendations. Some Universities are now preparing by lowering their entry grades, but in the meantime with all students having missed so much of their final education and having not been taught the subjects thoroughly they are feeling the unwarranted and unjustified pressures affecting their future lives.

The Solution
The solution stares us in the eyes, and that is to trust the integrity of the teachers. No teacher is going to forecast a too high a grade for a student, knowing that the youngster will then progress to higher level of education only to struggle and fail. So, Mr Government please listen and hand over the decisions to the integrity of the teachers.

John Harris

Back to blog

Leave a comment