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    Hi guys, I am currently in my final year of Sixth Form and I am beginning to think that exams are extremely detrimental to our education.

    Personally, I have always seemed it strange that across the country students spend time going over resources that should not even be accessible, such as examiner's reports, mark schemes and past papers. Even more worrying are the teachers who teach only how to get full marks on a question, leaving no time for topics that interest the class or which provoke genuine thought in the subject. In one case, I have had a teacher say "well, oscilloscopes (a whole unit in Physics) are unlikely to come up, so we won't bother going over that". I still don't know the use of various settings on an oscilloscope.

    When a teacher places the mark scheme for a question on the board I cannot help thinking that neither we nor our teachers trust exams to assess us on our ability in a subject, and so we must instead learn how to prove that we are able in the subject - ultimately proving nothing.

    I believe exams should be either replaced or have reduced importance to the overall grade of a student, in favour of individual and group projects, research and class work. There is hardly any creativity or enthusiasm left in our school, which I believe must be addressed. Going in to Sixth Form I was excited to explore the subjects I enjoy in greater depth, and for this deeper understanding to enable me to investigate areas that interest me. In reality, it has turned out to be an uninspired, formulaic extension of GCSEs, with a heap of content explained only to the point that we can answer exam questions on it. I have been left to form the majority of deep understanding (for Maths and Physics) by deriving it myself with the Feynman technique, which should not be necessary in a good education system.

    I would love to hear your opinions on this topic :P
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    I agree.
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    Don't need to scrap exams. just make mark schemes available only to the examiner so people end up actually revising the content rather than revising mark schemes. Exam questions should also focus on testing the understanding of the subject rather than memorising facts or formulas.
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    (Original post by samir12)
    Don't need to scrap exams. just make mark schemes available only to the examiner so people end up actually revising the content rather than revising mark schemes. Exam questions should also focus on testing the understanding of the subject rather than memorising facts or formulas.
    well thats what gcse and a level to some extent is all about
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    This just is not the problem with our education system, standardised testing is a perfectly adequate way to filter out the good students and of that subset there are other ways to differentiate between individuals. The main problem is the poor state of computer science/programming education in state schools.
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    (Original post by samir12)
    Don't need to scrap exams. just make mark schemes available only to the examiner so people end up actually revising the content rather than revising mark schemes. Exam questions should also focus on testing the understanding of the subject rather than memorising facts or formulas.
    The problem with your first point is that leaked information could give some students an advantage over others. I agree that making questions more centered around understanding could be an improvement, but I can't help but think there is a better solution than standardised testing.
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    (Original post by Notch)
    The problem with your first point is that leaked information could give some students an advantage over others. I agree making questions more centered around understanding could be an improvement, but I can't help but think there is a better solution than standardised testing.
    Well the students wouldn't have much of an advantage if the exam questions are centered around understanding the content anyway, scrapping the mark schemes is just more of an incentive to study and understand the content.

    Maybe adopt what some university programs do and have a combination of coursework, group work and examinations. Examinations are needed in all honestly as imo it is the best way of testing the understanding of the students knowledge in a subject. Just simply having coursework and group work won't give that true measure as there is a the issue of students benefiting from other students piece of work and there is also the issue of plagiarism.
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    (Original post by l'etranger)
    This just is not the problem with our education system, standardised testing is a perfectly adequate way to filter out the good students and of that subset there are other ways to differentiate between individuals. The main problem is the poor state of computer science/programming education in state schools.
    Although I have never had trouble with exams, and have never needed to revise more than a couple of days before them to succeed, I do believe there are many people who spend far too long revising for exams only to underperform due to pressure or a variety of other factors, and these people may be intelligent but have been led to believe they are not as exams are commonly seen as the most accurate measure of understanding.

    I personally cannot see why exams are timed, for example. I think so slowly it has become a meme in my classes, and the only reason I am able to do well in exams is by deriving answers out of pure logic, as I have a bad memory and believe there are better uses of my time than to memorise functions.

    As for computer science education, I competely agree. ICT should be removed and replaced with computer science/computing (which they have only just done in our school - I had to take ICT which was mind-numbingly boring). I am fortunate enough to have had outside experience of computer science, which is why I have chosen it as my degree, but it is concerning that many people do not really understand what it involves and how it is relevant in our lives.
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    (Original post by Notch)
    Hi, I am currently in my final year of Sixth Form and I am beginning to think that exams are extremely detrimental to our education.

    Personally, I have always seemed it strange that all over the UK students spend time going over things like examiner's reports, mark schemes and past papers. Even more worrying are the teachers who only teach how to get full marks on a question, leaving no time for topics that interest the class or that provoke genuine thought in the subject.

    When a teacher places the mark scheme for a question on the board I cannot help thinking that neither we nor our teachers trust exams to assess us on our ability in a subject, and so we must instead learn how to prove that we are able in the subject - proving nothing.

    I believe exams should be scrapped in favour of individual and group projects, research and class work. There is hardly any creativity or enthusiasm left in our school, which I believe must be addressed.

    Let me know what you think :P
    It's just to keep the plebs busy, you don't really think they care about genuine education do you? Mark schemes, past papers, examiner's reports, all ways of distracting people from actually learning while being able to feasibly pass it off as doing so.
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    (Original post by Abdukazam)
    It's just to keep the plebs busy, you don't really think they care about genuine education do you? Mark schemes, past papers, examiner's reports, all ways of distracting people from actually learning while being able to feasibly pass it off as doing so.
    Well I would hope so, but perhaps the government are too focussed on statistics and league tables as an indicator of the quality of a school, rather than on individuals and the ability of teachers to engage and inspire a class.
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    I'd like us to adopt the system that, is it Finland?, have in place. No standardised test sand they get the highest marks. Also, I think it should be school from 9 till 2, lunch and break are pointless, and you can decide to hang out or get some revision in at home.
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    (Original post by That'sGreat)
    I'd like us to adopt the system that, is it Finland?, have in place. No standardised test sand they get the highest marks. Also, I think it should be school from 9 till 2, lunch and break are pointless, and you can decide to hang out or get some revision in at home.
    Yes, I believe Finland outperform many countries such as the US and UK in education standards despite not having standardised tests (apart from one at the end of high school) and using a different approach to teaching, focussing more on individual students and how they learn best.
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    (Original post by Abdukazam)
    It's just to keep the plebs busy, you don't really think they care about genuine education do you?
    yea to keep em busy and keep em down
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    (Original post by That'sGreat)
    I'd like us to adopt the system that, is it Finland?, have in place. No standardised test sand they get the highest marks. Also, I think it should be school from 9 till 2, lunch and break are pointless, and you can decide to hang out or get some revision in at home.
    Believe it or not people (like me) become hungry during the school day.

    Additionally, I wouldn't find anyone looking forward to learning for five hours straight without any break. That, my friend, is torture.
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    (Original post by samir12)
    Don't need to scrap exams. just make mark schemes available only to the examiner so people end up actually revising the content rather than revising mark schemes. Exam questions should also focus on testing the understanding of the subject rather than memorising facts or formulas.
    a lot of the people marking exams are teachers or ex teachers - so letting them see the mark scheme will mean everyone knows it (or the vast majority at least)

    I don't think there's any way to avoid standardised testing - we do need some objective measure of ability and putting it all into 'classwork'/'group work' etc makes it too wishy washy and subjective to be meaningful - you'd get kids with marks they don't deserve because teachers were too harsh or too easy on them

    Finland does much better but they do still have a standardised test at the end of their education - and to be fair we only have GCSEs and A levels so it's not like you get formal tests every year... the big difference between our two systems is the resources Finland puts into education, they don't need to assess stduents constantly because they don't set students, they don't need to set students because their teachers have the time and resources to manage a class which has wildly different levels of attainment, Finlands teachers are one of the most respected jobs in the country so they are high achievers, very intelligent and only the best get to teach - they also have waaay more time to put together a really strong curriculum and interesting lessons, plus more freedom to design those lessons - this means they can teach what needs to be learnt for the test while still leaving time for other 'interesting' bits. Our teachers are often not strong graduates in the first place, they then have nowhere near enough time to even complete the various box ticking crap OFSTED require (or their school thinks OFSTED require) and so interesting or advanced or even particularly well thought out lessons go out of the window. They have no flexibility to teach in a way which suits them.
 
 
 
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