Are exams getting easier?

August 16, 2007

exam-results.jpgThousands of A-level students are getting their results amid the intense annual debate over whether exams are being “dumbed down”.

Business leaders, opposition politicians and some teachers say easier exams are behind record pass rates.

Not so, say examiners and unions. Pupils are better prepared and teaching has improved.

What do you think? Are A-levels and GCSEs easier or has education improved?

Did you receive your results today? Are you a teacher or lecturer who knows the system? Or are you an employer who hires school-leavers?

Send us your comments.


Let me make a short observation. If the results showed high rate of failure or even a failure rate higher than last years, you would have asked such questions as; have the students become too lazy, have the teachers lost their dedication or even — can the rise in the failure rate be explained by increased rate of migration. Would you have asked the question: were the examiners too demanding?

Posted by Dipak Ghosh | Report as abusive

It matters little if the exams are getting harder or easier (though ask any of the “proper” red brick universities and they’ll tell you that in the sciences they are having to teach stuff which was taught in sixth form 20 years ago)the point is that employers and universities need to be able to distinguish between the able and less able candidates. Not everyone is academic some are more vocational – there’s nothing wrong with that (plumbers earn more than academics these days anyway) but if you give everyone an A grade how are employers and individuals themselves to know ? It’s a joke – one in four now gets an A and therefore you cannot distinguish between the top 25%. We are so PC and hell-bent on giving everyone a successful outcome. In order for the word “success” to have meenaing there has to be failure. That’s life.