Many staff and students have serious concerns over the national ASA2 exam timetabling in England and Wales this year. Some of the AS exams have been timetabled from mid-May and this has made the teaching of the full specification virtually impossible. AS students have also lost the benefit of being able to complete a revision programme over the late May half-term.
This will almost certainly have an impact on the students' performance in the exams.
This pressure for earlier exams (pushed by the Government's desire to see an earlier publication of A-level exam results) is misguided and damaging the students' educational development and prospects.
If the Government is seeking a genuine post exam university application system, it needs to think this through more carefully and propose a later start to the HE autumn term dates or even a January start to the academic year. This would also provide students with the opportunity to save money for the cost of their tuitionliving expenses, undertake community service or take up travel opportunities.
With the reduction in the number of unit assessments in the revised ASA2 specifications from September 2008 it is hoped that some sanity can be restored to the national exam timetabling system.
Stephen Page, Keinton Mandeville, Somerset.