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Schools Minister says more exams is the solution to Mental Health watch

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    (Original post by frostyy)
    Kay, so I'm not saying exams will help with mental health, but this guy may have somewhat of a point a. It's not a surprise at all that so many kids are struggling with depression nowadays, I mean, we've built such an ironic society it's disgusting.

    Take a look at places children spend most of their time on now like instagram or snapchat... man... we've became so obsessed with idolizing this perfect lifestyle with all of these beautiful colours, amazing people and adventures everywhere, that perhaps somewhere between building a civilization where the only goal wasn't to survive and the media becoming what they are now, we've grown to be a bit too comfortable. And as a kid, you're at your most comfortable position in life, so naturally you hit a brick wall when you start getting your head around things. Even 10 years ago when I used to run around the estate people who were constantly sad were just weird, so it was better to not be one of them in the first place. Nowadays depression's swinging between being normal and popular, along with people becoming too expecting, too emotional, too feminized.

    People who's existence is endangered don't have existential crisis problems. We've gone way too soft, but the thing is, the nature of life hasn't. Maybe more exam preparation before GCSEs would help with the stress of GCSEs? Maybe that could slightly help with the well-being of the society, don't know.
    I agre about the ironic society and MH health being an issue, I don't think many people are arguing against that.

    I can understand too expecting, but completely disagree about too emotional and too feminized is merely by comparison to previously, which myself and many others would argue is simply a society too masculinized.

    Surely less emphasis on the over-exaggerated importance of GCSEs would be better than adding more exams?
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Compulsory externally-set examinations begin in year 2 in this country.
    Yeah I think the main point to note is that kids already know how exams as a general concept work, and it's not that aspect that causes them to turn into an absolute mess.

    (Original post by KingHarold)
    There is no need for people to have 10 or more GSCEs. There should be fewer, though having one or two at an earlier time than May/June would address the issue raised by the minister.
    I do wonder what I'm ever going to do with my B in GCSE geography as a philosophy degree student. It does seem like half the GCSEs I did became entirely irrelevant as soon as I'd done them.
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    (Original post by Retired_Messiah)
    Yeah I think the main point to note is that kids already know how exams as a general concept work, and it's not that aspect that causes them to turn into an absolute mess.



    I do wonder what I'm ever going to do with my B in GCSE geography as a philosophy degree student. It does seem like half the GCSEs I did became entirely irrelevant as soon as I'd done them.
    It's pressure they put themselves under at the point when they give exams a level of importance. You only have to look at the Grow your Grades forum to see how much stress and anxiety it can cause, Gibb's suggestion will just result in 12 year olds having Mental Health problems rather than 15 year olds.
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    Do these idiots live in a different universe?
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    I think students need to be regularly tested, and personally, I found regular mocks very helpful to gauge my progress and forced me to spend a little more time on my studies. This is healthy in my opinion, and it allowed the school to see what sets people should be in to ensure resources were focused on borderline C/D grade students and A grade students to ensure they could get an A*.

    Is Mr Gibb asking for more public exams or just mock exams? It doesn't seem clear in the article.
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    I think my first reaction is the same as that of many others here; that the statement is ridiculous. However upon reflection I do see his point.

    As a wrinkly old lady, I do genuinely miss the more constant monitoring of my progress, which I had during high school and sixth form. At university my assessments are either entirely terminal exams at the end of the year, or, in first and second year, final exams worth the majority of my grade along with 2-3 very short exams worth only 2.5-10% throughout the year. While I would say this leaves me less stressed over the course of the year, it means there are no repercussions for a dip in effort during the year, which can make it very difficult (and therefore stressful!) to catch up towards the end. While I would resent having to put in the effort year-long, I genuinely think that the best method of assessment would be to spread exams out and have less emphasis on finals. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean modular exams; in my opinion it would be better to, at each exam, assess everything taught so far, obviously in increasing detail as the course progresses. I appreciate that this format would suit some subjects better than others however.

    So there's my opinion on having more exams. But, as I realise that my oh-so amazing ideas are unlikely to be implemented by universities any time soon, the role of sixth forms (and to a much lesser extent high schools) should be to prepare students for this environment where they will be assessed and checked up on less often. People often complain that students are spoon-fed and babied at GCSE content in comparison to sixth form, but the jump from sixth form to university is much bigger. If students are used to constantly being checked then moving to an establishment that likely offers big final exams will be a steep learning curve.

    I find Nick Gibb's statements about how '[he doesn't] think it's right to say that reforms to the curriculum are the cause of young people's anxiety and mental-health pressure' are short sighted and dismissive. A short browse of his Wikipedia page (cutting-edge research, I know) shows that Mr Gibb has never worked in a school, or with children in any capacity, so it would probably do him well to listen to those who do. No one is even saying that it's the cause, rather a cause, and I think to deny that is ridiculous given how frequently news stories suggest students' suicides were due to exam worries/results. A report last year even recognised that youth suicide increases into the run up to exam season ffs.

    "Removing the modular element of GCSEs has meant that pupils sit fewer exams during the course, and feel less pressure to resit exams if they did not perform as well as expected" This is ridiculous as well. I can say with certainty that I feel less pressure when revising for/sitting an exam that I know I can redo if necessary. Thankfully I've only ever had to resit something once, but it absolutely was not 'feeling pressure' when resitting as I knew I still had my old grade to fall back on. A resit was an opportunity to do better, with a guarantee that my grade couldn't get worse! I do understand that perhaps that logic doesn't apply to everyone, and that for some even the idea of having to sit in the exam hall is an unpleasant one, but I really dislike the mere concept of 'no second chances at showing what you've learnt'. How often does that apply in the real world? I'm reminded of studies into learned helplessness where participants were made to do puzzles while listening to annoying, distracting noise. One group had no power to turn off the noise but the other group did, and the latter performed significantly better at the puzzles regardless of whether they actually exercised that control. It would seem that people perform better when they feel like they have better control (i.e. the ability to resit, even if not used). Who knew?
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    (Original post by Unknown-99)
    Do these idiots live in a different universe?
    Yes. It's called Westminster.
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    (Original post by Little Tail Chaser)
    I think my first reaction is the same as that of many others here; that the statement is ridiculous. However upon reflection I do see his point.

    As a wrinkly old lady, I do genuinely miss the more constant monitoring of my progress, which I had during high school and sixth form. At university my assessments are either entirely terminal exams at the end of the year, or, in first and second year, final exams worth the majority of my grade along with 2-3 very short exams worth only 2.5-10% throughout the year. While I would say this leaves me less stressed over the course of the year, it means there are no repercussions for a dip in effort during the year, which can make it very difficult (and therefore stressful!) to catch up towards the end. While I would resent having to put in the effort year-long, I genuinely think that the best method of assessment would be to spread exams out and have less emphasis on finals. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean modular exams; in my opinion it would be better to, at each exam, assess everything taught so far, obviously in increasing detail as the course progresses. I appreciate that this format would suit some subjects better than others however.

    So there's my opinion on having more exams. But, as I realise that my oh-so amazing ideas are unlikely to be implemented by universities any time soon, the role of sixth forms (and to a much lesser extent high schools) should be to prepare students for this environment where they will be assessed and checked up on less often. People often complain that students are spoon-fed and babied at GCSE content in comparison to sixth form, but the jump from sixth form to university is much bigger. If students are used to constantly being checked then moving to an establishment that likely offers big final exams will be a steep learning curve.

    I find Nick Gibb's statements about how '[he doesn't] think it's right to say that reforms to the curriculum are the cause of young people's anxiety and mental-health pressure' are short sighted and dismissive. A short browse of his Wikipedia page (cutting-edge research, I know) shows that Mr Gibb has never worked in a school, or with children in any capacity, so it would probably do him well to listen to those who do. No one is even saying that it's the cause, rather a cause, and I think to deny that is ridiculous given how frequently news stories suggest students' suicides were due to exam worries/results. A report last year even recognised that youth suicide increases into the run up to exam season ffs.

    "Removing the modular element of GCSEs has meant that pupils sit fewer exams during the course, and feel less pressure to resit exams if they did not perform as well as expected" This is ridiculous as well. I can say with certainty that I feel less pressure when revising for/sitting an exam that I know I can redo if necessary. Thankfully I've only ever had to resit something once, but it absolutely was not 'feeling pressure' when resitting as I knew I still had my old grade to fall back on. A resit was an opportunity to do better, with a guarantee that my grade couldn't get worse! I do understand that perhaps that logic doesn't apply to everyone, and that for some even the idea of having to sit in the exam hall is an unpleasant one, but I really dislike the mere concept of 'no second chances at showing what you've learnt'. How often does that apply in the real world? I'm reminded of studies into learned helplessness where participants were made to do puzzles while listening to annoying, distracting noise. One group had no power to turn off the noise but the other group did, and the latter performed significantly better at the puzzles regardless of whether they actually exercised that control. It would seem that people perform better when they feel like they have better control (i.e. the ability to resit, even if not used). Who knew?
    Well said and thank you for taking the time to write this. I almost completely agree with everything there.
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    (Original post by Blue_Cow)
    I think students need to be regularly tested, and personally, I found regular mocks very helpful to gauge my progress and forced me to spend a little more time on my studies. This is healthy in my opinion, and it allowed the school to see what sets people should be in to ensure resources were focused on borderline C/D grade students and A grade students to ensure they could get an A*.

    Is Mr Gibb asking for more public exams or just mock exams? It doesn't seem clear in the article.
    But what does testing actually achieve?

    I don't think he knows the answer to that either.
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    (Original post by EstelOfTheEyrie)
    And the way in which exams are fundamentally structured is a mistake - especially when they're supposed to get you prepared for a working life.
    Like, I've just gone from A levels to temporary employment in my gap year before university, and not once when I've been learning stuff has my manager/supervisor gone and taken my notes away when I've needed them.

    The idea that we're supposed to know everything off by heart and recite it in the space of 1-2 1/2 hours is beyond comprehension. We're surrounded by access points for information, so even if we do need to know something we can quickly research it. and learn new skills in the same way (e.g - you want to learn how to tie a tie? YouTube it. Which US figures are on their coins and notes? There's a Wikipedia page somewhere.)

    And it's not like the exams are an adequate way of testing intelligence anyway. One bad day in the exam after months of hard work can make it all redundant and destroy future plans if you're not careful. You can be working at A/A* level for 2 years, and then 1 day that leads to a C in that paper can mean the difference in Tertiary education and the feeling of idiocy etc. etc.
    Standing ovation for you. Said what I’ve been unable to express quite as well. Interestingly, my friends on my masters course think the same, exams prove nothing and aren’t useful
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    (Original post by -nightfury-)
    Exactly, I find exams are actually detrimental to mental health in a way, and that adding even more would increase stress in students. I'm a good A grade student, but over the past year my grades have been dropping due to mental health difficulties. If the mocks that I'm having now actually counted for something, I would be screwed because I am not in a good mental place to be doing these at all. I'm terrified for the actual A levels in June, and the fact that they're so clumped together when my brain can only focus on one thing at a time just stresses me out even more.

    If someone does rubbish in an exam, that can completely change their future despite them getting good grades all year long and being really clever! And likewise, the exams test memory recall more than anything, someone could do amazingly well because they've learned mark schemes and how to manipulate the memorized information as opposed to actually understanding it! Plus some parents can be really strict and having more exams means they will push their kids even further to get top grades constantly despite the mental strain this can put them under...
    Basically (as others have said!),
    More exams = more stress = more negative thoughts = worse mental health amongst pupils
    It’s so sad 😭

    After researching school systems, discovering more about homeschooling, unschooling (this is really misnamed when you find out what it is), human development and really questioning what education has done for me and the dark past of the compulsory school system (the reasons why it was created are awful) I can’t look at the school system the same way again. Once you know what its intended purpose was I’m not sure anyone can look atop the same way.

    And by the way, in the UK you don’t have to go to school. Article 2.1 of elective home education says you never need to go, not even enrol. How you get educated is down to you, what you learn is down to you, you don’t need to follow any plan or even agree to be checked on by the state. They don’t tell you that though do they?
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    Oh Yh totally. That was why my friend got admitted to hospital just before her GCSEs last year due to stress getting out of control.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    https://www.tes.com/news/school-news...-mental-health

    I'm not sure I've ever felt more sick reading an article.
    Get a grip weirdo.
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    Next it'll be exams from year 3 onwards to make sudents more used to exams from year 7 onwards.
    Fast forward; pregnant mothers to sit exams, this will influence the baby and help them cope more when it's their turn
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    (Original post by starfab)
    Next it'll be exams from year 3 onwards to make sudents more used to exams from year 7 onwards.
    Fast forward; pregnant mothers to sit exams, this will influence the baby and help them cope more when it's their turn
    :laugh: It does make me wonder though.... when will the nonsense end? If ever?
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    :laugh: It does make me wonder though.... when will the nonsense end? If ever?
    At some point, we have to hope sense is knocked into them. Atm they seem oblivious.
 
 
 
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