Letters Extra : Are my exams worth nothing?

6th August 2004 at 01:00

Shock, horror, disgust: not the usual emotions experienced when reading a newspaper article. However, this was what I felt on reading your "Divisions in a labour of love" from the July 16 issue.

Having just completed A-levels in English literature, English language and French, I was baffled to learn that the Government proposes to change examinations once again. And this change seems to be one that would affect students even more than the prevous alterations. To have one's two years' hard work and mental growth nullified by the uninformed stroke of an under-qualified and non-specialist marker could have a devastating effect on one's future.

Readings by such markers are bound to be superficial. Not being specialists in the subject, the obedient and unquestioning conscripts will inevitably miss insights an developments that go beyond their constrained criteria.

Furthermore, the idea of presenting fragments of scripts to these arbitrary aliens to me seems absurd: so much for cross-referencing then, and no need to pay attention to essay style or cohesion of argument. We can only hope these new markers do not have to write a full report on their findings.
Suzannah Young
Northampton nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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