Friday, August 25, 2006

Damn A Levels Again.......

Every year I wait for another round of complaints that exams are getting too easy. Yet again there are calls for a new grade. Why aren't they rejoicing that perhaps children are getting smarter, or simply working harder?

But it is worth thinking of what exam results do and don't tell us anyway. With or without an A+ grade, they cannot tell us about somebody's all round intelligence. All they will ever do is inform how skilled somebody is at passing exams, and that is not the same as general intelligence. What it is useful for is for employers to judge a person's discipline, which is pretty much what exams are for anyway. So they have what they want - a more disciplined workforce for the skilled professions. Why the tears?

In more ideal circumstances the move should be made away from an exam culture, pretty much like the long hours culture and that of discipline per se. Not every skill or talent can be measured on a piece of paper.

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