#1: Restricted Learning
#2: All or Nothing Pressure
Although the structure of GCSEs have changed somewhat to allow for modular testing. A Levels and many GCSEs still have an all or nothing testing procedure. Is this type of structure creating
unnecessary stress on students? Is it unfair that being sick on the day of an exam or having jitters could greatly affect your potential to achieve? Or do you think that it modular testing is a less genuine assessment of true skill and aptitude? Perhaps these types of changes could lead to some students achieving better grades just because they have a better or more lenient teacher.
#3: A Knock to Confidence
In many schools, and indeed many families, we are rewarded with validation when we achieve good grades. And by proxy, when we don’t get a ‘good’ mark or fail to meet the academic expectations of others often we can feel like we’ve let a whole lot of people down. Studies show that this type of reinforcement can be very damaging to young people’s self-esteem and goes far beyond our self-confidence. Have you ever felt upset or worried over your marks? Do you think that its right for young people to feel this way?
#4: Competing For the Top Spots
Many schools have enforced a tradition of ‘prize giving’ to publicly award students who come out on top in certain subjects or years. On top of this we are told that GCSE results might effect whether we are let back into school, and A Level results are based on a competitive system for limited spots at universities. Is this a healthy mentality for young people to have? Do you feel that you are having to compete against your peers for your right to education, or do you think this helps prepare young people for the world of work? Have you ever experienced what happens if you don’t reach your goals, or have you had to go through clearing to get into university?
#5: Is There More to Life?
Have you ever heard the expression ‘there’s more to life?’ – it doesn’t mean that exams aren’t important, but are they given too much importance for young people today? Are young people still getting to experience the rest of their lives when they are at school, or do you feel that there’s just no room for anything else? Some people might not even want to pursue a life of academic study, but are we ever told about other life paths? Do you feel that exams take up most of your life? If there was something else what would you be doing, what’s more important?