Thursday, 22 May 2008

Lets print the answers on the exam paper and then hope young people don't notice!

Todays revelation from the UK, that students sitting the OCR music GCSE examination last Friday, could find the answers for one of the exam sections printed on the back page, albeit in error, is frankly almost unbelieveable. The fact that this most basic of errors could get through the apparently rigorous proof reading and quality control checks throws the considerable doubt on the entire process.

However, I found even more totally bizarre the spokesperson for the examination board being quoted as saying:

"It is unlikely that any of the 12,000 students sitting the examination would have recognised the value of the information in the copyright statement and subsequently used it."

Did I read that right?? I'm really not sure which planet that person occupies really. Today's young people are told to carefully read exam papers all the way through and are not stupid - of course the majority would have seen it, and recognised it immediately as containing the answers. It even identifies which question it answers, it's not really rocket science is it?

Mind you, it really does beg the question as to the value of this type of exam question in the first place. What does it really prove today and how does it benefit young people? There are so many better ways of assessing students in the creative arts than sitting answering a paper based exam.

Mind you, as one of my colleagues pondered, having said the above, I really do hope that no candidate did see it and still got the answers wrong!
For a link to the full story click here.

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