Wednesday, 22 April 2009


You may be quick to judge with the majority of the adult population, “in my day, the exams were harder.” As a student, we have essentially drawn a short straw.

I admit that the A-Levels seem to be no comparison to the 'immaculate' International Baccalaureate (IB), having to study six compulsory subjects within two years. However, the media's covert message that in fact it is the students themselves who are gradually transforming into ignorant and lazy beings, rather then the introduction of easier exams; is only slightly offensive. After a mere fifteen years of studying, I would like to think that our efforts accounted for something worthwhile.

On the ill-fated month of August, we witness numerous students receiving their grades on results day. But instead of congratulating the effort put into producing infinite amounts of 'A's, the media conveniently forms an alliance with the government to introduce the A* grade in 2010, of course making life easier for young people.

A complicated ‘blessing in disguise’, the government's plans may actually benefit pupils. If students are unable to pass their exams from the various systems being introduced, not only will we save money from paying extortionate amounts for tuition fees- but universities will be exclusively for the elite, wealthy and intelligent (unless your application reveals that you are already a rocket-scientist.) Fifteen years wasted for no apparent reason.

In the long-run what will employers be expecting of future workers? Especially as the International Baccalaureate overtakes the A-Level; will all A-Level grades become unrecognisable and obsolete? Unable to find a job that is tailor-made for your grades, lacking a degree and finding out that you are not particularly gifted because you achieved 5 As and not A *grades does not set up much hope for prospective applicants.

It appears that over 40% of pupils believe the A-Levels did not adequately prepare them for their university course. Does this mean with the launch of the Baccalaureate, the majority of students who were equipped for further studies will be disregarded? As if the competition of applying to university was not enough, it seems as if the government has entered pupils unwillingly into a world wide competition, with Europe and the Baccalaureate.

Perhaps, it would be useful to know what pupils will actually ‘win’ from this publicity race against Europe. Hence, it appears that although exams may be easier, there are sufficient cracks in the system to make students suffer.

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