GCSEs don't need marking

15th November 2002 at 00:00
A senior GCSE English examiner has suggested a radical solution for the troubled exam system: scrap the pesky business of assessing students' work. On the TES website forum, she says: "I reckon we might be able to do away with marking and award grades on names."

The veteran examiner reckons students' performance is reliably correlated to name types. A* names include "absolutely any associated with Greek mythology, with the exception of Jason" as well as "hippy" names such as Gandalf and Sky. A-grade names are "middle class names which haven't yet been adopted by the hoi polloi"... So top marks to Jemima, Ruth and Alexander.

Sadly for Emma, Tom, William and Rebecca their names "used to be middle class but are going downwards" and they are therefore doomed for a B grade. Jane belongs in this category but slips to a C grade along with Michelle and Michael, if spelt "Jayne". Fraser, Liam, Ryan, Darryl, Ashley and Tracey are destined for grade Ds.

But, the examiner reassures us: "Before you all advise Year 11 students to change their names, I do read the papers and mark on what's there. Every so often an intellectual Jason turns up!"

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today