EXAMINING EDUCATION: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS ON THE FUTURE OF EXAMS

·      71% of students in years 10-13 believe the exam system is outdated, but 63% do not want to be “guinea pigs” if radical changes are made

·      78% of their parents agree it was the right decision to cancel all GCSE and A-Level exams, but 85% are worried about the impact it will have on students

We are of two minds when it comes to the UK’s education system – we believe it is time for it to be modernised but are concerned about the impact such changes will have on students.

71% of students in years 10 – 13 think the current exam system is outdated and needs to be overhauled, but afraid of the negative impacts, 63% do not want to be made a “guinea pig” for alternative approaches, according to new research from My Online Schooling.

Similarly, while the majority (78%) of parents support the cancellation of GCSE and A-Level exams this year – and 81% say it was the right thing to do last year too – 85% are concerned about the impact these cancellations will have on their children.

Not only do our beliefs regarding change to the current system differ, but our opinions on the system and way it works do too, showing support and disdain for both exams and coursework-based assessment.

Exams are liked by some students because they provide equal opportunity (40%) and they feel they perform better at exams than coursework (31%), while others say exams are less stressful than ongoing assessment (24%).

Yet a continuous assessment approach is favoured by others as it provides greater opportunity to improve (45%) and they feel exams can still be difficult to do well in despite good coursework (39%).

Their parents are largely the same. While 69% believe the current exam system needs to be modernised, 68% are worried their children will not receive the grades they expected, 43% believe students will lose motivation.

without exams, and 45% see employers viewing assessed grades differently to examination grades.